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Full text of "Alabama bird day book"














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HARVARD UNIVERSITY 




LIBRARY 



OF THE 



Museum of Comparative Zoology 



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1915 




BROWN FRINTING CO. MONTGOMERY. 



PRESS 

BROWN PRINTING CO. 

MONTGOMERY 

ALABAMA 



FOREWORD 



From year to year the Department of Game and Fish, 
through the wisdom and foresight of its Commissioner, 
prepares and sends out an elaborate bulletin giving explicit 
information and material for the observance of Bird Day 
in our public schools. 

This pamphlet, which is a work of art, is eagerly sought 
and used in every county and most of the schools of the 
State. No other agency is doing so much to conserve our 
birds and to preserve in our children the sympathetic in- 
stinct which statutes and constitutions are powerless to incul- 
cate. It is with exceeding gratification, therefore, that I 
designate Friday, May 7, as Bird Day for Alabama schools 
and in so doing I desire to unreservedly commend the work 
and to again bespeak on the part of the teachers of the State 
a wider and saner attitude towards God's creatures every- 
where, which must of necessity result from a State-wide 
compliance with the plan and purpose of this book. 

Sincerely, 




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Supt. of Education. 



SUGGESTED PROGRAM FOR BIRD DAY 

Invocation. 

Reading: Life of Audubon. 

Talk by teacher, superintendent or some prominent game 
protectionist on the subject of the conservation of birds, 
animals and fish, and their relation to man. 

Recitation: The Brookside and the Hillside. Redwing. 

Reading : How to Go A-Birding. The Duty of the Citi- 
zen Toward Wild Life. 

Essay on the Oven-Bird, Last of the Wild Pigeon, or 
Sage Hen. 

Recitation : Bird Biography. Elegy — Written in Spring. 
The Meeting of the Waters. Hawk's Challenge. 

Reading: Early Spring. Alabama Game Laws. In- 
sects are the True Rulers of the L'niverse. 

Essay on the slaughter of birds for ornamentation. By 
pupil. 

Recitation : There Was a Cherry-tree. Robert Burns. 
The Birds. The Spirit of the Eagle. The Little Minister. 
The Sagamore. 

Paper on King Rail, The Barn Owl, The Dowitcher, The 
Gadwall. 

Recitation : Beauties of Nature. A Grosbeak in the 
Garden. The Throstle. To a Water-fowl. 

Reading— The Worm the Bird Did Not Eat. The 
Phoebe Bird. 

Recitation : Fishing. O Pumpkin Pie. The Song of 
the Brook. 

Adjourn to a suitable place and plant a tree or shrub 
that will be dedicated to the birds. 

Bird Sanctuaries — and a practical demonstration of Bird 
Houses, Bird Baths and Bird Feeding Devices. 




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JOHN JAMES AUDUBON 

1780-1851 

♦&♦- 

HOUGH of French parentage, and during his early years 
educated in France, Audubon was born in Louisiana, and 
always called the United States of America "his own beloved 
country," and returned to it when about eighteen. He 
married in 1808, Lucy Bakewell, the daughter of an English neigh- 
bor. He took his wife to Louisville, Ky., where he opened a store 
"which went on prosperously when I attended to it," he writes later, 
"but birds were birds then as now, and my thoughts were turning 
toward them as the objects of my greatest delight. I shot, I drew, 
I looked on nature only; my days were happy beyond human con- 
ception and beyond this I really cared not." 

Leaving Louisville and many kind friends behind them they went 
to Henderson, Ky. "Like my family the village was quite small. 
The latter consisted of six or eight houses ; the former of my wife, 
myself and a small child. Few as the houses were we fortunately 
found one empty. It was a log cabin. * * * The woods were 
amply stocked with game, the rivers with fish, and now and then 
the hoarded sweets of the industrious bees were brought from some 
hollow tree to our table." 

In spite of strenuous endeavors to keep his wandering tendencies 
under control and to earn support for his family, his various under- 
takings failed, partly through his own lack of business capacity, 
but still more through the dishonesty of those in whom he implicitly 
trusted. At last "I parted with every particle of property I had to 
my creditors, keeping only the clothes I wore on that day, my origi- 
nal drawings, and my gun." "Nothing was left to me but my humble 
talents. Were those talents to remain dormant under such exi- 
gencies? Was I to see my beloyed Lucy and children suffer and 
want bread? Was I to repine because I had acted like an honest 
man ? Was I inclined to cut my throat in foolish despair ? No ! 



Bird Day Book 



I had talents, and to them I instantly resorted." For a time he 
found successful occupation in drawing portraits in black chalk, 
but never lost an opportunity to add to his collection of drawings 
of birds, which he now began to think of publishing. 

In 1821 he took a position as tutor in a family near New Orleans, 
His wife also taught, and by their united exertion their boys, Victor 
and John, were put to school and a happy home life secured for 
a few years. In 1826 the proceeds of a successful dancing class, 
$2,000, with his own and his wife's savings, enabled him to sail 
with his beloved drawings for England, the goal of his hopes for 
many years. Letters from friends in America brought him new 
friends in England and Scotland, "who praised my Birds, and I felt 
the praise to be honest." All praise for his drawings delighted him, 
but the social attentions showered on him and the demands for pa- 
pers on many subjects, Birds, Quadrupeds, Indians, tried him not a 
little. "A man who never looked into an English grammar and who 
has forgotten most of what he learned in French and Spanish ones — 
a man who has always felt awkward and shy in the presence of a 
stranger — a man habituated to ramble alone, with his thoughts 
usually bent on the beauties of nature herself — this man, me, to be 
seated opposite Dr. Brewster in Edinburgh reading one of my puny 
efforts at describing habits of birds that none but an Almighty 
Creator can ever know, was ridiculously absurd." He naively 
writes: "The Captain (Basil Hall) wishes to write a book, and 
he spoke of it with as little concern as I should say, "I will draw a 
duck;' is it not surprising?" His pictures were exhibited, he was 
made a member of the leading scientific societies, and, best of all, 
his plans for publication took definite shape; the methods and cost 
of printing were agreed upon, and subscribers began to enroll them- 
selves. He returned to America, and to procure further material 
for his great undertaking he journeyed from Labrador to the Flor- 
ida Keys. "In all climates and all weathers, scorched by burning 
suns, drenched by piercing rains, frozen by the fiercest colds ; now 
diving fearlessly into the densest forest, now wandering alone over 
the most savage regions; in perils, in difficulties, in doubts, with 
no companions to cheer his way — listening only to the sweet music 
of birds or to the sweeter music of his own thoughts, he faithfully 
kept his path. The records of man's life contains few nobler exam- 
ples of strength of purpose and indefatigable energy." 



Alabama, 191 5. 



The great work was completed in 1838 and, when bound, con- 
sisted of four elephant folios containing 1,065 life-size portraits of 
birds in their natural surroundings. "The text was published sep- 
arately under the title, 'Ornothological Biography.' Later (in 1844) 
the original plates, reduced by the camera lucida, were published 
with a part of the text in seven octavo volumes as 'The Birds of 
America.' " 

After a futile attempt at city life in New York, the family 
home was established in a beautiful woodland region on the banks 
of the Hudson, now Audubon Park and included within the city 
limits. 

There, after many short journeys and one long and difficult one 
up the Missouri to the mouth of the Yellowstone, surrounded by 
children and grandchildren, with his beloved wife by his side, the 
long, active life ended peacefully. 




g Bird Day Book 

OUR PATRIOTS WERE NIMRODS 



ROM the beginning there has been implanted in the being 
of man an impulse to pursue and take the wild denizens of 
the animal kingdom. Whether it be for sport or for food, 
for numberless centuries man of high and low degree, in 
every country and every clime, has roamed the forests and matched 
his skill against the fleetness and cunning of its wary creatures. 
Indeed, even now in every thinly populated land where game exists 
in abundance a man lives according to his skill as a sportsman. 

The royal hunts led by the kings of Europe into the forests in 
quest of the stag and wild boar were inspired by the same impulse 
that impelled the savages of darkest Africa, the Aboriginees of 
Central and South America and the Eskimoes of the Arctic Circle. 

On account of having been trained to hit the running deer in the 
forests, during the War of the Revolution, the patriots under Wash- 
ington poured into the soldiers of George III such a deadly and 
effective fire as to put them to rout and compel the tyrant to accord 
us the freedom which we now enjoy. 

During the War of 1812, the soldiers under Andrew Jackson, 
equipped with sporting rifles, having been trained to bring down 
squirrels from the tallest trees of Tennessee by merely hitting them 
through the eye, by taking aim at every man at which they fired 
instead of shooting "breast high," made every shot count a kill and 
won for our country the battle of New Orleans, one of the greatest 
victories recorded in the annals of our brilliant history. 

The effective work done by the Alabama soldiers on the firing- 
line in the War Between the States was due to the fact that they 
were trained in the hunting field and were thus enabled to place 
deadly missiles, with unerring aim. 

It can thus be well said that game not only furnishes a medium of 
healthful recreation and enjoyment but that it likewise trains in its 
pursuit the men of the country in the art of the use of fire-arms and 
renders them valiant and almost invincible foemen when they 
respond to the call to arms. 



Alabama, ip 75. 



m 



THE MEETING OF THE WATERS 

♦&♦ 

THERE is not in the wide world a valley so sweet 
As the vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet ; 
Oh ! the last rays of feeling and life must depart, 
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart. 

Yet it was not that nature had shed o'er the scene 
Her purest of crystal and brightest of green ; 
'Twas not her soft magic of streamlet or hill, 
Oh ! no — it was something more exquisite still. 

'Twas that friends, the beloved of my bosom, were near, 
Who made every dear scene of enchantment more dear, 
And who felt how the best charms of nature improve, 
When we see them reflected from looks that we love. 

Sweet vale of Avoca ! how calm could I rest 

In thy bosom of shade, with the friends I love best, 

Where the storms that we feel in this cold world should cease, 

And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace. 

— Thomas Moore. 



» 



10 Bird Day Book 






THE THROSTLE 

♦&» 

66 PUMMER is coming, summer in coming 
O I know it, I know it, I know it. 
Light again, leaf again, life again, love again." 
Yes, my wild little poet. 

Sing the new year in under the blue, 
Last year you sang it as gladly, 
"New, new, new, new !" Is it then so new 
That you should carol so madly? 

"Love again, song again, nest again, young again," 
Never a prophet so crazy ! 
And hardly a daisy as yet, little friend, 
See, there is hardly a daisy. 

"Here again, here, here, here, happy year!" 
O warble, unchidden, unbidden ! 
Summer is coming, is coming, my dear, 
And all the winters are hidden. 

— Alfred Tennyson. 



m 



Alabama, ipij. 11 



MY WISH 

♦ ® » 

«TF ANY little word of mine 
X May make a life the brighter, 
If any little song of mine 

May make a heart the lighter, 
God help me speak the little word, 

And take my bit of singing 
And drop it in some lonely vale, 
To set the echoes ringing. 

"If any little love of mine 

May make a life the sweeter, 
If any little care of mine 

May make a friend's the fleeter, 
If any life of mine may ease 

The burden of another, 
God give me love, and care, and strength 
To help my toiling brother." 

— Endeavor Herald. 



m 




REDPOLL 

HE male of this species has a rosy breast, but the female 
has not. In winter these northern birds may be found in 
flocks gathering seeds from weeds by the roadside and 
stonewalls. Their actions greatly resemble those of our 
Goldfinch, but their flight is more rapid. 

The song of the Redpoll is strong, sweet and canary-like. The 
nest is constructed at low elevations in bushes or trees ; the eggs are 
three to five in number, and are pale greenish blue with brown 
specks. These birds breed in the extreme north, and winter south 
to the northern part of the United States. 

The sup-species are Holboell Redpool, which is slightly larger, 
and the Greater Redpoll, which is still larger and darker. 

The Greenland Redpoll is a larger and much whiter species 
found in Greenland and migrating to Labrador in winter. 

, — Bird Guide. 

Note: See illustration on front cover. 



12 Bird Day Book 

THE REDWING 

I HEAR you, Brother, I hear you, 
Down in the alder swamp, 
Springing your woodland whistle 
To herald the April romp ! 

First of the moving vanguard, 
In front of the spring you come, 

Where flooded waters sparkle, 
And streams in the twilight hum. 

You sound the note of the chorus 
By meadow and woodland pond, 

Til, one after one up-piping, 
A myriad throats respond. 

I see you, Brother, I see you, 

With scarlet under young wing, 
Flash through the ruddy maples, 

Leading the pageant of spring. 

Earth has put off her raiment 

Wintry and worn and old, 
For the robe of a fair young sibyl, 

Dancing in green and gold. 

I heed you, Brother. Tomorrow 

I, too, in the great employ, 
Will shed my old coat of sorrow 
For a brand new garment of joy. 
— Bliss Carman. 



Alabama, 19 15. 13 



$ 



TO A REDBIRD IN FEBRUARY 

THOU flamelet from the fire of spring, 
Lit sudden on an ashen tree, 
The year has but begun to be! 
Where didst thou learn that limpid thing 
Thou singest ere thy fellows sing — 
Clear crystal notes that spill and drench thee, 
Yet cannot quench thee? 

Prophet are thou, or troubadour? 
Doth a dead April's memory 
Waken this perfect minstrelsy, 
Or vision of a lovelv flower 
In some predestined, imminent hour 
So shake and rend thy little spirit 
Thou canst not bear it? 

Ah . . . gone ! but still the high refrain. 
All the gray bough with green is drest, 
A bar of amber breaks the west, 
A fragrance filters through the rain. 
That which was dead shall live again! 
The last chill doubt of the earth has cherished, 
Lo, it hath perished ! 

— Nancy Byrd Turner. 



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14 Bird Day Book 



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RED-TAILED HAWK 

HIS bird is about two feet in length, and is one of our largest 
hawks. The adults have the tail reddish brown, hence its 
name. They breed in the United States, Mexico, Costa 
Rica, Canada and Alaska, and winter generally in the United 
States and south to Guatemala. 

The red-tailed hawk, or "hen-hawk," as it is commonly called, 
is one of the best known of all our birds of prey, and is a widely 
distributed species of great economic importance. Its habit of sit- 
ting on some prominent limb or pole in the open, or flying with 
measured wing beat over prairies and sparsely wooden areas on the 
lookout for its favorite prey, causes it to be noticed by the most 
indifferent observer. Although not an omnivorous as the red-shoul- 
dered hawk, it feeds on a variety of food, as small mammals, snakes, 
frogs, insects, birds, crawfish, centipedes and even carrion. In 
regions where rattlesnakes abound it destroys considerable numbers 
of the reptiles. Although it feeds to a certain extent on poultry 
and birds, it is nevertheless entitled to general protection on account 
of the insistent warfare it wages against field mice and other small 
rodents and insects that are so destructive to young orchards, nurs- 
ery stock and farm produce. Out of 530 stomachs examined, 457, 
or 85 per cent, contained the remains of mammal pests, such as field 
mice, pine mice, rabbits, several species of ground squirrels, pocket 
gophers and cotton rats, and only 62 contained the remains of poul- 
try or game birds. 

— Biological Survey Bulletin. 




RED-TAILED HAWK. 

}A, Life-size. 



COPYRIGHT 1900, BY A. W. MUMFORD, CMIC*QO 



Alabama, 1915. 15 

HAWK'S CHALLENGE 

WINTER or Summer, what care I? — 
The tilled or the untilled plain ? 
My lot is cast in the blue abyss, 

And the lordly sun's domain. 
Over the broad champaign I float, 

And over the sparkling sea; 
I mount at will to the peak of heaven, 

And rejoice that I am free, 

Ko, keeo, kilio, keeo! 

I exult that I am free ! 

KO, kileo, ye groundlings born, 

Of the tribes that reap and sow, — 
Blesing and ban to me are one, 

As up and aloft I go ! 
There are quaking hearts below, I ween, 

For this black shape in the sky ; 
For the Hawk's breed has a Hawk's blood, 

And a Hawk of the Hawks am I. 

Ko, keeo, kileo, keeo! 

A Hawk of the Hawks am I ! 

— Dora Read Goodale. 



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THE HAWK 

LIFE at every meal, rapacious hawk ! 
Spare helpless innocence ! 



— Troth, pleasant talk ! 
Yon swallow snaps more lives up in a day 
Than in a twelvemonth I could take away. 
But hark, most gentle censor, in your ear, 
A word, a whisper, — you, — are you quite clear ? 
Creation's groans, through ocean, earth and sky, 
Ascend from all that walk, or swim, or fly. 



16 . Bird Day Book 

HOW TO GO A-BIRDING 



>■»* 



I 



T HAS seemed to me that, instead of calling on the birds 
personally, it might be pleasant to tell how to conduct our 
visits and observations. What is the modus operandi of bird 
study ? 



We would suggest, first, that one should go a-birding with his 
heart. Nature requires undivided attention. She can brook no 
rival if you would win from her the choice secrets of her being. If 
you give her only half a mind, she will give you but half of her 
revelation. You must give her your confidence before she will 
become communicative. Dismiss your ledgers, your politics, your 
family wrangles, the annoyances of the schoolhouse, from your 
thought when you go consorting with Nature. You must have a 
bird in the heart if you would see and appreciate the bird in the 
bush. It is the heart, too, that "sharpens the eyes. Not all persons 
can become bird students because not all have the requisite enthus- 
iasm; not all are enrapport. 

Odd as it may appear, I would say, do not be too scientific. Not 
one word would I utter in disparagement of the specialist and the 
technical student, providing he feels certain that he can add some- 
thing new and valuable to science; but for popular amateur bird 
study I should protest against the slaughter of feathered innocents 
either for identification or structural research. Do not look upon 
birds as mere anatomical specimens. You need not kill and dissect 
birds to know all that is necesary about their structure; for there 
are many scientific books that will tell you all about their physiology 
and anatomy. 

Study birds as sentient creatures, as interesting individuals, with 
wonderful instinct and intelligence. The bird anatomist loves science 
more than he loves birds, or he would never want to kill them and 
take them apart. 

If you really love the birds you will want to study them just 
as they are in their outdoor haunts, where they obey the impulses 



Alabama, 19 15. 17 

of their volatile nature. To do this a good opera glass is a requisite. 
It partly annihilates distance, and brings the bird up to your eyes. 
You should get one with a large eye-piece, for with a small one you 
will find some difficulty in focussing the binocular upon the desired 
object. Be sure to avoid a glass that has bright colors, which will 
reflect the gleam of the sun into your eyes. Dark colors are best. 

A bird key or manual is indispensible for purposes of identifica- 
tion. Somehow, you cannot enjoy the bird's society until you know 
its cognomen. A bird's name may even be very inapt, and yet — well, 
there is something in a name, even if it seems un-Shakespearian to 
say so. It is a wonderful satisfaction to know that the flitting piece 
of diminution in yonder tree is a golden-crowned kinglet, and not a 
warbler or a vireo. I refer to the English names now in vogue 
among scientific men. * * * 

Do you ask when you had better begin the study of birds ? Now ! 
In bird study, as in most right pursuits, "now is the accepted time." 

— Leander S. Keyser. 




18 Bird Day Book 

BIRD BIOGRAPHY 

»®» 

WHAT bird is our emblem? 
I, said the eagle, 
In strength I am regal ; 
I'm America's emblem. 

Who sings on the wing? 
I, said the skylark; 
From dawn until dark, 
I sing on the wing. 

Whose feathers are downy? 
Mine, said the goose, 
They're put to good use, 
My feathers are downy. 

Who builds a hang-nest? 
I, said the oriole, 
In shape like a bowl, 
I build my hang-nest. 

Who's pet of the household? 

I, said canary, 

A right yellow fairy. 

I am pet of the household. 

Who's poetry's bird? 
I, said the dove, 
For I coo of love. 
I'm poetry's bird. 

Who loves to chatter? 
I, said the blackbird, 
My harsh voice is heard, 
I love to chatter. 



Alabama, 1915. 19 

Whose legs are long? 
Mine, said the crane, 
I've more legs than brain. 
My legs are long. 

Who whistles "Bob White?" 
I, said the quail, 
Across wood and dale. 
I whistle "Bob White." 

What bird is handsome? 
I, said the jay, 
With plumes blue and gray. 
I'm very handsome. 




20 Bird Day Book 

MARBLED GODWIT 



T 



HE coot is a most remarkable bird, at home equally in the 
of shore birds, the present species measuring about eighteen 
inches in length, including the long up-curved bill. They 
breed in the interior from Saskatchewan south to North 
Dakota and winter from the Gulf coast and Lower California south- 
ward. They only casually occur on either the Atlantic or Pacific 
coasts during migration. Their three or four creamy-buff eggs, 
spotted with yellowish-brown, are laid in scantily lined depressions 
on the ground in the vicinity of water; as usual with birds of this 
order, the eggs are pear-shaped and very large compared with the 
body of the bird. 

They are highly prized for the table and eagerly hunted when- 
ever they appear on the marshes ; ordinarily, they are rather shy, 
but since they come to imitations of their calls and to decoys stuck 
up in the mud, their shyness does not avail them. They are com- 
monly known as brown marlins or spike-bills. 

— Game Birds. 



m 

COOT 

-♦©♦ 



THE cot is a most remarkable bird, at home equally in the 
water or on land in marshes. Plumage gray like that of 
the Florida Gallinude, but secondaries tipped with white, 
bill white with a black band or spots in the middle, practi- 
cally no frontal plate, and the toes each with a lobed web. Coots 
swim and dive fully as well as any of our ducks, and are frequently 
seen on bays and in rivers in company with them, or in flocks of their 
own kind. While swimming they have a habit of nodding the head 
in time to the strokes of their feet. They are to be found through- 
out the United States and southern Canada. 

— Game Birds. 




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Alabama, 191 5. 21 

VACATION TIME 

ALL THE world is set in rhyme, 
Now it is vacation time, 
And a swelling flood of joy 
Brims the heart of every boy; 
No more rote and no more rule, 
No more staying after school ; 
Nothing but to play and play 
Through an endless holiday. 

Morn or afternoon, may all 
Swing the bat and catch the ball ; 
Nimble-footed, race and run 
Through the meadows in the sun. 
Chasing winged scraps of light, 
Butterflies in daring flight; 
Or where the willows lean and look 
Down at others in the brook; 
Frolic loud the stream within, 
Every arm a splashing fin. 

Where the thorny thicket bar, 
There the sweetest berries are; 
Where the shady banks make dim 
Pebbly pools, the shy trout swim ; 
Where the boughs are mossiest, 
Builds the humming bird a nest; — 
There are haunts the rover seeks, 
Touch of tan upon his cheeks, 
And within his heart the joy 
Known to no one but a boy. 

All the world is set to rhyme. 
Now it is vacation time. 



22 Bird Day Book 

THE JOY OF TODAY 

YOU needn't be rich to be happy, 
You needn't be famous to smile ; 
There are joys for the poorest of toilers. 
If only he'll think them worth while. 
There are blue skies and sunshine a-plenty 

And blossoms for all to behold; 
And always the bright days outnumber 
The dark and the cheerless and cold. 

Sweet sleep's not a gift of the wealthy, 

And love's not alone for the great; 
For men to grow old and successful 
It isn't joy's custom to wait. 
The poorest of toilers has blessings 
His richer companions may crave ; 
And many a man who has riches 

Goes sorrowing on to the grave. 

You'll never be happy tomororw 

If you are not happy today ; 
If you're missing the joys that are present 

And sighing for joys far away. 
The rose will not bloom any fairer 

In the glorious years that may be ; 
Great riches won't sweeten its fragrance 

Nor help you its beauties to see. 

Today is the time to make merry, 

'Tis folly for fortune to wait; 
You'll not find the sky any bluer 

If ever you come to be great. 
You'll not find your joy's any brighter, 

No matter what fortune you win ; 
Make the most of life's sunshine this minute 

Tomorrow's too late to begin. 

— Edgar A. Guest in Detroit Free Press. 



Alabama, 19 15. 23 

BIRD MINSTRELSY 



I 



% 



WOULD like to say a few words in behalf of the little 
birds that flutter in the tree tops and wing their merry way 
hither and thither, searching for insects and making the 
whole world glad with their soulful liquid music. Did any 
one ever take time to think how lonely they would be these bright 
spring mornings if, by any chance, the birds had forgotten to come 
back here from their migratory flight. Our loss would be greater 
than it is possible to imagine. But notwithstanding the cruel treat- 
ment they sometimes receive, we have the assurance they will return 
with each new springtime, to cheer our hearts with their joyous 
minstrelsy. 

"And when you think of this, remember, too, 
'Tis always morning somewhere, and above 
The awakening continents, from shore to shore, 
Somewhere the birds are singing evermore. " 

The most valuable possession of a living creature is its life — life 
is the foundation of all values, for a. dead thing can value nothing. 
To kill one bird does more to darken the world for us than to destroy 
a myriad of the lower and more sluggish forms of life, and to kill 
it uselessly and wantonly is a near approach to murder. Birds are 
like human beings in that they not only enjoy themselves, but they are 
a source of joy to others — to their mates, their young, and also to 
the best and most admirable part of human-kind. The flash of a 
bird's wings in a tree top, the twitter of its song, may bring pure 
pleasure to a hundred people in a single day. 

Aside from this, birds have a utility to man which no intelligent 
person can ignore ; they serve us by putting a check on the increase 
of weeds, destructive insects, and other agencies which do us harm 



24 Bird Day Book 

by diminishing the returns from our lands; and birds as a class can 
be made even more useful to us if we take the trouble to learn their 
habits, their foods, etc. 

The teachers of Alabama, by observing Bird Day in their schools, 
can be of invaluable aid in instructing the children of our State 
relative to the benefits derived from bird life. As you know, the 
tending of a flower bed, the training of a vine, the planting of a tree, 
the tender care bestowed upon it, the eager watching for new devel- 
opments in its growth, create an interest in it ; so also with the study 
of birds. The building of bird-houses, the encouraging of birds to 
live in them, the love-making of the mates, the sight of the young 
birds in the nest, all engender a love for them, and will for many a 
child prove "the open seasame" into the changed circle of those 
forces of the out-door world which purify, refine and ennoble the 
heart of man, and give a sense of ownership that causes the pupil to 
feel that he is an integral part of that world. 




Alabama, 19 15. 25 



THE SAGAMORE 

AND thou, remembered Sagamore, 
Some fairy pencil traced thy shore, 
With most artistic beauties rife, 
Ere sturdy Nature gave it life ; 
The woods that skirt thy verdant side 
Bow over thee in love and pride, 
And lay their shadows there to rest 
Upon the pillow of thy breast; 
No sounds of harsh discordance press 
To mar thy blessed peacefulness. 
The old pines murmur whisperingly, 
As if in earnest praise of thee ; 
And troops of brilliant loving birds 
Sing their delights in joyous words, 
Responsive to thine own sweet speech 
That breaks in music on thy beach. 
Among thy haunts again we've played, 
Again along thy shore we've strayed, 
And bowed like pilgrims at a shine 
Before thy beauties so divine ! 
Again our foreheads, warm and glowing, 
Have felt thy crystal coolness flowing, 
And love has strengthened in the beam 
Reflected from thy shore and stream. 
—B. P. Shillaber. 



26 Bird Day Book 

THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE 

ADMIRING Nature in her mildest grace, 
These northern scenes with weary feet I trace; 
O'er many a winding dale and painful steep, 
Th' abodes of coveyed grouse and timid sheep, 
My savage journeyed, curious I pursue, 
Till famed Breadalbane opens to my view, 
The meeting cliffs each deep-sunk glen divides, 
The woods, wild scattered, clothe their ample sides. 
Th' outstretching lake, embosomed 'mong the hills, 
The eye with wonder and amazement fills ; 
The Tay meandering sweet in infant pride, 
The palace rising on his verdant side ; 
The lawns wood- fringed in Nature's native taste; 
The hillocks dropped in Nature's careless haste; 
The arches striding o'er the new-born stream; 
The village glittering in the noontide beam. 

******* 

Poetic ardors in my bosom swell, 

Lone wandering by the hermit's mossy cell; 

The sweeping theatre of hanging woods, 

Th' incessant roar of headlong tumbling floods. 

******* 

Here Poesy might wake her heaven-taught lyre, 

And look through Nature with creative fire; 

Here, to the wrongs of fate half reconciled, 

Misfortune's lightened steps might wander wild; 

And Disappointment in these lonely bounds 

Find balm to soothe her bitter, rankling wounds. 

Here heart-struck Grief might heavenward stretch her scan, 

And injured Worth forget and pardon man. 

— Burns. 



Alabama, ip 15. 27 



SONG OF THE BROOK 

♦©♦■ 

WITH many a curve my banks I fret 
By many a field and fallow 
And many a fairy foreland set 
With willow weed and mallow. 

I chatter, chatter, as I flow 

To join the brimming river; 
For men may come and men may go, 

But I go on forever. 

I steal by lawns and grassy plots ; 

I slide by hazel covers ; 
I move the sweet forget-me-nots 

That grow for happy lovers. 

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance, 
Among my skimming swallows ; 

I make the netted sunbeam dance 
Against my sandy shallows. 

And out again I curve and flow 

To join the brimming river, 
For men may come and men may go, 

But I go on forever. 

— Alfred Tennyson. 



23 Bird Day Book 



MY HEART IS IN A GARDEN OF ROSES 

MY HEART is a garden of roses, 
And for thee a posey I twine ; 
Love's honey dew on them reposes, 
And all of its sweetness is thine. 

There breathes from my garden of roses 
The odorous breath of the spring; 

A fragrance as fresh as from oases 
Cool winds o'er the desert bring. 

Fair queen of my garden of roses, 

My heart is thy home and thy throne ; 

I make thee a crown of sweet posies, 
For this flow'ry kingdom's thine own. 

At morn my fair garden of roses 

Is awakened by strains of sweet song ; 

At eve, when in Dreamland it dozes, 
A thousand bright visions throng. 

Traversing my garden of roses, 

Are walks lined with lovely parterres ; 

Each step some new landscape discloses, 
Far-veiled in the Edenly airs. 

Come into my garden of roses, 
And walk with me, hand in hand, 

Unto where life's golden gate closes, 
At home in the sunset land. 



Alabama, 19 15. 29 



ORIOLES, SWALLOWS, AND NIGHTHAWKS VALUABLE 
IN DESTROYING THE COTTON-BOLL WEEVIL 



0~~~^ F ALL the birds known as natural enemies of the cotton-boll 
^b— - weevil, orioles, swallows and nighthawks are the most im- 

HiagBl portant, according to the Biological Survey. Insect special- 
ists of the bureau have made extensive investigations of the 
subject, which have developed that there are 60 kinds of birds that 
eat the weevil. 

The nighthawk, or bullbat, catches the weevils on the wing in 
considerable numbers, especially during their migration. Unfor- 
tunately, the nighthawk is shot for sport or eaten for food in some 
sections of the South, but its value for good is infinitesimal as com- 
pared with the services it renders the cotton grower and other agri- 
culturists, and every effort should be made to spread broadcast a 
knowledge of its usefulness as a weevil destroyer, with a view to its 
complete protection. The orioles, barn swallow, rough-wing swal- 
low, bank swallow, cliff swallow, and the martin are all persistent 
enemies of the boll weevil. 

From the standpoint of the farmer and the cotton grower these 
swallows are among the most useful birds. Especially designed by 
nature to capture insects in midair, their powers of flight and endur- 
ance are unexcelled, and in their own field they have no competitors. 
Their peculiar value to the cotton grower consists in the fact that, 
like the nighthawk, they capture boll weevils when flying over the 
fields, which no other birds do. Flycatchers snap up the weevils near 
trees and shrubbery. Wrens hunt them out when concealed under 
bark or rubbish. Blackbirds catch them on the ground, as do the 
killdeer, titlark, meadow lark, and others; while orioles hunt for 
them on the bolls. But it is the peculiar function of swallows to 
catch the weevils as they are making long flights, leaving the cotton 



30 Bird Day Book 

fields in search of hiding places in which to winter or entering them 
to continue their work of devastation. 

Martins are not at all fastidious about the outward appearance 
of their dwellings, and a large gourd suspended from the top of a 
dead tree or a pole, or any kind of a weather-tight box or barrel, 
however rude, when divided into compartments answers their needs 
as well as the most costly and ornamental house. The rooms should 
be about 4^2 inches wide, 7 inches high, and 8 inches deep, with 
entrance about 3 inches in diameter. They will not build close to 
the ground, having a wholesome fear of cats and other invaders; 
hence the houses should be elevated from the ground not less than 
15 feet. Drinking water is essential for martins and all other swal- 
lows, and the presence of a small pond, lake, or river greatly in- 
creases the chances for colonization. 

— U. S. Agri. Dept. Bulletin. 




Alabama, ipi 5. 31 



* 



IN THE MORNING-GLORY'S HEART 

THERE'S a star in the morning-glory's heart, 
A star of a wondrous hue ; 
A simple thing, but 'tis more than art 
And the brush of man can do. 

It is resting there on the petals wide ; 

A shadow it seems to be 
Of one of the myriad stars that ride, 

All gold, in the night's deep sea. 

O, golden star of the autumn night, 

While your twinkling watch is on, 
Is your shadow cast by a higher light 
And touched by the dew of dawn? 

Does it fall on the morning-glory's heart, 

A star of a wondrous hue, 
A simple thing which is more than art 

In the hand of man can do? 

Ah, well, if the things are true that seem ! 

The star shadow out of the sea 
Is only bit of the earthly dream 

Of the glories that are to be. 

— O. C. H. in "Columbus Dispatch" 



m 



32 Bird Day Book 



» 



I KILLED A ROBIN 

I KILLED a robin. The little thing, 
With a scarlet breast and a glossy wing, 
That comes in the apple tree to sing. 

I flung a stone as he twittered there ; 
I only meant to give him a scare, 
But off it went and hit him square. 

A little flutter— a little cry- 
Then on the ground I saw him lie ; 
I didn't think he was going to die. 

But as I watched him I soon could see 
He never would sing for you and me 
Any more on the apple tree. 

Never more in the morning light, 
Never more in the sunshine bright, 
Trilling his song in gay delight. 

And I'm thinking every summer day 
How never, never I can repay 
The little life I took away. 



m 



Alabama, ip 15. 33 

GADWALL 



THESE birds, which measure about twenty-one inches im 
length, are cosmopolitan in distribution, but in America are 
nowhere as abundant as other species. They frequent 
marshes about fresh-water lakes and ponds, breeding chiefly 
in the interior and western America and being only casually found 
during migrations on the Atlantic coast north of Chesapeake Bay. 
Compared to other species, the drake is rather poorly plumaged, 
the black, white and chestnut on the wings only serving to break the 
monotony of the general coloring. 

— Game Birds. 



as 



"IN MY DREAMS" 

♦#♦ 

IN MY dreams there are forests with turbulent streamlets, 
Where trout flash their gold in the noon-day sun. 
In my land of Arcady the silence is soothing. 

Each hour bears new joys ere the daylight is done. 

In my dreams comes the hum of the reel o'er swift waters, 

The thrill of each struggle brings sure cease to cares, 
Whilst a melodic symphony in harmony with nature, 
Is flowing from swelling throats, warbling sweet airs. 

In my dreams there steals o'er me the deep peace of evening, 
E'ry night folds its shroud round the forests of pine, 

A memory of night winds that woo me to slumber, 
To dream of the morrow and joys which are mine. 

Frank J. Parsons. 

2BB 



34 Bird Day Book 



T 



KING RAIL 

HESE are the largest of the true rails, measuring about 
eighteen inches in length. They are much brighter colored 
both above and below than the similar sized Clapper Rails. 
They inhabit almost exclusively fresh-water marshes in 
eastern North America, breeding throughout the Eastern States and 
wintering in the Southern ones. Their form is typical of that of 
the rail family: long bill, long legs and short tail, the latter often 
carried erect over the back. They are very sly and secretive in all 
their habits, keeping well under cover of rushes or marsh grass, and 
doing most of their feeding after dark. It is very difficult to flush 
them, particularly without a dog. Their flight is very weak and 
fluttering; they fly but a few yards before dropping into the pro- 
tecting grass again. On the ground, however, they are very active 
and quite graceful, running swiftly and threading their way with 
ease through the densest of weeds, rushes or brush. At night the 
marshes often resound with their loud, exposive, grunting calls. 

Their food consist of aquatic insects, seeds, roots and grasses, 
which impart a delicate flavor to their flesh and put them in the 
game-bird class, although the sport of shooting them is confined 
largely to one's ability to make them fly, for once awing they are 
so easy a mark that even a novice can seldom miss one. 

— Game Birds. 



Alabama, 191 5. 35 



"MARRIAGE OF ANIMALS" 



SURPRISING though the statement may seem, it is a fact, 
borne out by the careful scientists, that practically every 
form of marriage contract known to men, from free love to 
the soul-mate theory, can be found in the animal world. 
Male animals even have their bachelor clubs, and that wonderful 
naturalist, Ernest Thompson Seton, has related how little societies 
of animals are established among the deer and antelopes. These 
societies usually consist of three or four young bucks, which range 
and feed together in perfect friendship. They are quite happy until 
some lady deer intrudes. But once a doe joins the herd, good-bye 
to peace. The brothers fight among themselves while the doe looks 
on and enjoys the sport until one of them drives off the others and 
goes away with her. 

There are four distinct forms of marriage among monogamous 
animals. The first closely resembles the trial marriage, and is the 
type represented by the moose. The male selects as she pleases him 
and when she no longer charms he promptly divorces her and finds 
another mate. 

The second type of animal marriage is that which lasts during 
the breeding season only. Some animals seek their mates again 
next season, but among rats, rabbits and squirrels the separation is 
permanent, although among foxes, coyotes and smaller animals the 
father, who presumably hates the worries of domestic life, usually 
stays away until the children have been reared and then returns. 

The third type of animal marriage is that common among wild 
geese, pigeons and possibly owls. The union lasts through life, and 
if one of the pair dies the other never seeks a second mate, but 
mourns disconsolately until death. 

The fourth type of marriags is the nearest approach to the ideal 
married life, and curiously enough is found most commonly among 
wolves. Wolves marry for life, and only the death of one leaves 
the other free to marry again. Furthermore, there is even a genu- 
ine display of chivalry and affection between such animals. It is 
recorded that two wolves in the London zoo were very jealous of 
each other and frequently quarreled. One day during an unusually 
furious dispute the male approached the female angrily as if to bite 
her, but just as he reached her stopped, as if held back by some- 
thing within him. The female then approached timidly, gently 
licked his face and domestic happiness was once more restored. 

— Wilmington News. 



36 Bird Day Book 

IN JUNE 

CAN this be true, this golden summer time, 
With dewy roses making sweet the dreamy June, 
And soft winds playing tho' the tender leaves 

While drift the glowing stars and ghostly moon ? 
The sleeping flowers are pale to silver gray, 
Can this be summer time : And you away ? 

The shadows in the pines play hide and seek, 
The warm air with their fragrance slowly fills, 

The nesting birds are still, with folded wings; 
The somber mists of night shut out the hills. 

Can all this dreamy time pass swift away? 

Will June not wait your coming, dear, one day? 

— June Paget Davies. 



» 



THE ENCHANTMENT 

I WONDER how the robin's throat 
Hath caught the rain's sweet dripping note, 
That little falling, pelting sound, 
Liquidly clear and crystal round. 
The very heart-tune of the Spring, 
Enchanted of the sky and ground, 
That conjures life from everything. 

No ancient, age-worn witchery, 

No incantation, could set free 

The fast-bound dead ; yet here each day, 

Robin and rain in mystic way 

Bring life back greenly ; ah, and now 

One's heart and pulse obey 

That lure of music ! Listen now 



Alabama, 191 5. 37 



INSECTS ARE THE TRUE RULERS OF THE UNIVERSE 

MAN AND ALL HIS WORKS WOULD SOON BE AT 
THEIR MERCY IF IT WERE NOT FOR BIRDS 



A 



MONG the zoological articles in the Smithsonian annual 
report is one on the value of birds to man, in which the 
author, James Buckland, of London, makes the astonishing 
statement that although man imagines himself the dominant 
power of the earth, he is nothing of the sort; the true lords of the 
universe being the insects. For although man has attained predomi- 
nance over the most fierce and powerful animals and most deadly 
reptiles, he and his works would be of little avail before an attack 
of insects, which include a greater number of species than all other 
living creatures combined. Some 300,000 species have been de- 
scribed, while possibly twice that number still remain unknown. 

The author says that these incomputable hordes feed on nearly 
all living animals and practically all plants, and multiply into pro- 
digious numbers in an incredibly short time. Computations show 
that one species developing 13 generations a year would, if unchecked 
to the twelfth generation, multiply to 10 sextillions of individuals ; 
while a single pair of the well-known gypsy moths, if unchecked, 
would produce in eight years enough progeny to destroy all the 
foliage of the United States. One pair of potato bugs, he states, 
would develop unchecked 60,000,000 in a single season, at which 
rate of multiplication the potato plant would not long survive. 

According to Mr. Buckland's article, insects are quite as astound- 
ing in their consuming qualities as in their rate of increase ; a cater- 
pillar eats twice its weight in leaves a day, and, in proportion, a 
horse would consume a ton of hay in 24 hours. Certain flesh-eating 
larvae consume 200 times their original weight in 24 hours; in this 
manner an infant would devour 1,500 pounds of meat during the 
first day of its life. It is reported by a specialist that the food taken 
by a silk worm in 56 days equals 86,000 times its original weight. 
All of which facts show what tremendous destruction insects may 
cause. 



38 Bird Day Book 

Through its predominating insect diet, and on account of its 
exceedingly rapid digestion, the bird becomes the most indispensable 
balancing force of nature; without its assistance, man, with his 
poisons, the weather and animals, as well as the parasitic predaceous 
insects, would be helpless. The author then states how the bird is 
a benefit to man in a great number of ways ; in checking insect inva- 
sions, in preserving forests and orchards ; their service in the mead- 
ows and gardens ; their value in protecting live stock, and their 
usefulness in the preservation of health and elimination of disease. 

Remarkable instances of the birds' service to man include the 
introduction of the English sparrow into New Zealand with the 
resulting elimination of the thistle and the caterpillar, which were 
ruining the land and crops, and the saving of Australian agricul- 
ture from the grasshoppers by the straw-necked ibis, in individual 
craws of which an average of 2,400 grasshoppers was found. The 
story of Frederick the Great, wherein he is alleged to have ordered 
all small birds killed because the sparrows had pecked at some of his 
cherries, and the resulting lack of fruit but fine crop of caterpillars 
two years later, proves a graphic lesson. The "Scalp Act" of Penn- 
sylvania, which paid in bounties $90,000 for the extermination of 
hawks and owls, lost for the state $3,850,000 in damage to agricul- 
ture, due to the increase of small rodents which resulted. When 
Montana was free from hawks and owls it became so overrun with 
destructive rodents that the legislature offered rewards for them — a 
task which the banished hawks and owls had performed free of 
charge. But during the first six months such large sums of money 
were paid out that a special session of the legislature was called to 
repeal the act before the state went bankrupt. In 1912 Lord Kitche- 
ner pointed out the necessity of prohibiting the destruction of certain 
Egyptian birds, which prevented insect pests. 

In closing Mr. Buckland makes a plea for the preservation of all 
birds as a valuable natural resource, stating that if their destruction 
is not checked, there will be wrought a mischief, a universal disaster, 
greater than words can express. 





to 



Alabama, 1913. 39 



WOOD DUCK 



N" l EARLY everyone is agreed that Wood Ducks are the most 
, beautiful of any species found in this or any other country. 
MgJStil The exquisitely colored and crested head, the iridescent 
glossy back and the delicately marked flanks combine to 
produce an effect that cannot be surpassed. Even the female is 
more beautiful than that of other species. 

Beauty proves fatal to them, however, for they are hunted, not 
only for sport and food, but for their feathers, some of which are 
used in fly-tying. Wood Ducks are oft-times called "Summer 
Ducks" because they are a warm-weather species and sometimes 
termed "Bridal Ducks" because of their beauty which is associated 
with bridal robes. 

They frequent wooded lakes or creeks, where they occasionally 
perch in the trees, but more often are found along the shores or 
floating among the grass of lagoons. Their note, which is sometimes 
uttered as they take wing, is a single sharply whistled "oeeck." 
They are of local occurrence and breed throughout the United States 
and southern Canada, but they are yearly becoming more scarce in 
all portions of their range. Their nests are in the cavities of trees, 
but not necessarily near the water's edge. The ducklings either 
flutter down the tree trunk or are carried to the ground in the bill 
of the mother. 

— Game Birds. 



40 Bird Day Book 



m 



TO A WATERFOWL 

Whither, mid'st falling dew, 
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, 
Far through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue 

Thy solitary way? 

Vainly the fowler's eye 
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong. 
As darkly seen against the crimson sky, 

Thy figure floats along. 

All day thy wings have fanned, 
At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere, 
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land, 

Though the dark night is near. 

And soon that toil shall end ; 
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest, 
And scream among thy fellows ; reeds shall bend 

Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest. 

— William Cull en Bryant. 



m 



Alabama, 1915. 41 



« 



FISHING 

YOU ask me, why I love this fishing, 
Why, by some quiet stream I care to stray, 
When far from out the south a-blowing, 

The wind comes gently at the break of day. 

You ask me, why I love to harken 

As o'er the mossy stones, the waters sing. 

Why, often there, I stop and ponder 

The message that those laughing waters bring. 

I answer : Have you tried this fishing, 

When 'round your soul life's weary burdens lie? 
Have you gone forth and heard the waters 

That sing of peace, beneath God's open sky? 

Of peace and rest, rest for one weary. 

Of strength to throw aside some long-borne care. 
That joy one finds a-fishing, 

Such have I found beside the waters there. 



$ 



42 Bird Day Book 



APRIL'S DAY 

IN THE tall elm tree sat the robin bright, 
Through the rainy April day, 
And he carolled clear with a pure delight 

In the face of the sky so gray, 
And the silver rain through the blossoms dropped, 

And fell on the robin's coat. 
And his brave red breast, but he never stopped 
Singing his cheerful note. 

For, oh, the fields were green and glad, 

And the blissful life that stirred 
In the earth's wide breast was full and warm 

In the heart of the little bird. 
The rain-cloud lifted, the sunset light 

Streamed wide over valley and hill 
As the plains of heaven the land grew bright 

And the warm south wind was still. 

Then loud and clear called the happy bird, 

And rapturously he sang. 
Till wood and meadow and riverside 

With jubilant echoes rang. 
But the sun dropped down in the great west, 

And he hushed his song at last, 
All nature softly sang to rest. 

And the April day had passed. 

— Celia Thaxter. 



Alabama, 19 15. 43 

DICKCISSEL 



^p%lHE male of this species is beautifully blended with yellow, 
* 1 white and gray, and has a black throat patch and brown 
Belli shoulders. The female is duller. In the middle portions of 
the United States these birds, or Black-throated Buntings, as 
they are commonly called, are very numerous, frequenting dry, 
bushy fields or prairies. They are very persistent songsters, al- 
though their song is weak and has little melody. In July and August, 
when many birds are silent, they continue their plaintive chant 
even on the most sultry days. 

The song is a simple chanting, "chip, chip, che-che-che." The 
nest is made either on the ground, in bushes or thistles or in trees, 
being constructed of weeds, grasses, rootlets, corn husks, etc. There 
are four or five eggs in number, which are plain bluish white and 
hardly distinguishable from those of the Bluebird. 

The Dickcissel breed in North America east of the Rockies, 
from the Gulf States north to the northern part of the United States ; 
they are rare in the Atlantic States north to Connecticut. 

— Bird Guide. 



44 Bird Day Book 



THE BIRDS 

TIS spring and the birds are here again, 
Who blithely carol forth their lay; 
Each morn they swell their warbling throats 
To greet the new, the budding day. 

The robin on a topmost spray, 

With breast of red and coat of brown, 
Sings gaily at the dawn of day, 

A song no care can drown. 

The bluebird flitting here and there, 
With flash of color and burst of song, 

Sings of a mossy nest so rare, 

On which the sun shines all day long. 

The meadow lark, with song so sweet, 
Soars toward the vaulted sky and sings 

A lay that thrills with joyousness 

And to our hearts great pleasure brings. 

With carol sweet as silver chimes, 
O birds, ye heralds of the spring, 

What harmony to us you bring, 
And gladness in our darkest times. 

— Herbert Wilson. 




Flicker. 



Alabama, 1915. 45 

WELCOME TO THE BIRDS 

HARK, hear the merry chorus, 
List to the song so sweet, 
From every tree-top o'er us, 
Mountain and valley round us, 

Echo the glad refrain, 

Comes a carol meet; 
Bidding us all be joyous, — 

Join in the gladsome strain, 
Cherish with kindly feeling, 

Each little bird so dear, 
Ever about us flitting, 

Bringing us heartfelt cheer ; 
Throats that are never weary ; 

Gaily they chant their lay, 
Birdies are ever cheery, 

Make us like them, we pray. 



b 



THE DOWNY WOODPECKER 

THE Downy is a drummer-boy, his drum a hollow limb ; 
If people listen or do not, it's all the same to him. 
He plays a Chinese melody, and plays it with a will, 
Without another drumstick but just his little bill ; 
And he isn't playing all for fun, nor just to have a lark, 

He's after every kind of bug or worm within the bark ; 
Or, if there is a coddling moth, he'll get him without fail, 

While holding firmly to the tree with all his toes, and tail. 
He is fond of every insect, and every insect egg; 

He works for everything he gets, and never has to beg. 
From weather either cold or hot he never runs away ; 

So, when you find him present, you may hope that he will stay. 

— Garrett Newkirh. 




46 Bird Day Book 

EARLY SPRING 

OW much more habitable a few birds make the fields! At 
the end of the winter, when the fields are bare and there is 
nothing to relieve the monotony of withered vegetation, our 
life seems reduced to its lowest terms. But let a bluebird 
come and warble over them, and what a change ! The note of the 
first bluebird in the air answers to the purling rill of melted snow 
beneath. It is evidently soft and soothing, and, as surely as the 
thermometer, indicates a higher temperature. It is the accent of the 
south wind, its vernacular. It is modulated by the south wind. 

The song sparrow is more sprightly, mingling its notes with the 
rustling of the brush along the water sides, but it is at the same time 
more terrene than the bluebird. The first woodpecker (flicker) 
comes screaming into the empty house and throws open doors and 
windows wide, calling out each of them to let the neighbors know 
of its return. * * * * When the blackbird gets to a con- 
queree he seems to be dreaming of the sprays that are to be and on 
which he will perch. The robin does not come singing, but utters 
a somewhat anxious or inquisitive peep at first. The song sparrow 
is immediately most at home of those I have named. 

Each new year is a surprise to us. We find that we had vir- 
tually forgotten the note of each bird, and when we hear it again 
it is remembered like a dream, reminding us of a previous state of 
existence. How happens it that the associations it awakens are 
always pleasing, never saddening, reminiscences of our sanest hours ? 
The voice of nature is always encouraging. 

— H. D. Thoreau. 



Alabama, 19 15. 47 

ROBERT BURNS 

WHAT bird, in beauty, flight or song, 
Can with the Bard compare, 
Who sang as sweet, and soar'd as strong, 
As ever child of air? 

His plume, his note, his form, could Burns 

For whim or pleasure change; 
He was not one, but all by turns, 

With transmigration strange. 

The Blackbird, oracle of spring, 

When flow'd his moral lay; 
The Swallow wheeling on the wing, 

Capriciously at play. 

The Humming-bird, from bloom to bloom, 

Inhaling heavenly balm ; 
The Raven, in the tempest's gloom; 

The Halcyon, in the calm. 

In "auld Kirk Alloway," the Owl, 

At witching time of night; 
By "bonnie Doon," the earliest Fowl 

That carroll'd to the light. 

He was the Wren amidst the grove, 

When in his homely vein; 
At Brannockburn the Bird of Jove, 

With thunder in his train. 

The Woodlark, in his mournful hours; 

The Goldfinch, in his mirth ; 
The Thrush, a spendthrift of his powers, 

Enrapturing heaven and earth. 



48 Bird Day Book 

The Swan, in majesty and grace, 

Contemplative and still : 
But roused, — no Falcon, in the chase, 

Could like his satire kill. 

The Linnet in simplicity, 

In tenderness the Dove; 
But more than all beside was he 

The Nightingale in love. 

Oh ! had he never stoop'd to shame, 

Nor lent a charm to vice, 
How had Devotion loved to name 

The Bird of Paradise ! 

Peace to the dead ! — In Scotia's choir 

Of Minstrels great and small, 
He sprang from his spontaneous fire, 

The Phoenix of them all. 




Alabama, 191 5. 49 

YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER 



THE sapsucker is about eight and a half inches in length, and 
is the only woodpecker having top of head from base of 
bill red, combined with a black patch on breast. They breed 
in the northern half of the United States and southern half 
of Canada, and winter in most of the States and south to Costa 
Rica. The yellow-bellied sapsucker is rather silent and suspicious 
and generally manages to have a tree between himself and the 
observer. Hence the bird is much better known by its works than 
its appearance. The regular girdles of holes made by this bird are 
common on a great variety of trees ; in all about two hundred and 
fifty kinds are known to be attacked. Occasionally young trees are 
killed outright, but more loss is caused by stains and other blemishes 
in the woods which result from sapsucker punctures. These blem- 
ishes, which are known as bird pecks, are especially numerous in 
hickory, oak, cypress and yellow poplar. Defects due to sapsucker 
work cause an annual loss to the lumber industry estimated at 
$1,250,000. The food of the yellow-bellied sapsucker is about half 
animal and half vegetable. Its fondness for ants counts slightly in 
its favor. It eats also wasps, beetles (including, however, very few 
wood-boring species), bugs, and spiders. The two principal com- 
ponents of the vegetable food are wild fruits of no importance and 
cambium (the layer just beneath the bark of trees). In securing 
the cambium the bird does the damage above described. The yellow- 
bellied sapsucker, unlike other woodpeckers, thus does comparatively 
little good and much harm. 

— Biological Survey Bulletin. 



m 



R 



THE WOODPECKER 

AP, rap, rap, rap, I hear thy knocking bill. 



Then thy strange outcry, when the woods are still. 
— Thus am I ever laboring for my bread, 
And thus give thanks to find my table spread. 



50 Bird Day Book 

O PUMPKIN PIE 

O PUMPKIN pie ! 
Athwart thy face 
A hundred fancies may I trace ! 
I see the glint of summer sun, 
And twilight, when the day is done; 
The sober peace of musing cows 
Who on the meadow grasses browse ; 
The radiant glory of the morn 
That sweeps across the nodding corn. 
A thousand happy fancies start 
When thou are nestling near my heart. 

pumpkin pie! 

I hear the breeze 
That whispered in the maple trees; 

1 see the swaying fields of wheat, 
And hear the birdsongs, clear and sweet ; 
And, low across the land at night, 

I catch the ballad of delight — 
The chant the cricket sings in glee ; 
And summer comes again to me. 
O pumpkin pie ! Thus dost thou cast 
Thy joyous glamour o'er the past. 

O pumpkin pie! 

Within thy breast 
These gladsome summer fancies rest; 
The golden sunshine and the dew 
Have paid their tribute through and through. 
The song the lark trilled in the air 
Within thy form is echoed there; 

For all these things of joy to me 
Were caught and firmly held by thee. 

pumpkin pie ! For all thou didst 

1 welcome thee unto my midst ! 

— Copyright by Wilbur D. Nesbit. 





i* 


V 


'0 


r:: :T~ . 


>v_ 







I 



AMERICAN BALD EAGLE. 



COPYRIGHT 1900, BY A. W. MUMFOH0, CHICAGO 



Alabama, ipi 5. 51 

AMERICAN BALD EAGLE 



T 



HE Eagle does not acquire its white head and tail under its 
fourth year. The head is fully feathered, and the name 
"Bald" refers solely to its white appearance. Up to three 
years of age it is of the same general color as the golden 
Eagle, and to distinguish the two species it is necessary to look at 
the lowest joint of the leg. If it is naked, the bird is a Bald Eagle, 
but if it is covered with feathers quite down to the toes, it is a 
golden agle. 

As a rule — to which there are numerous exceptions — the Bald 
Eagle is found along rivers, and the shores of lakes and ponds con- 
taining fish. Fish are its favorite food, and lambs are purely sup- 
plementary. As a regular thing, it catches fish out of the water, 
with neatness and despatch ; but when it sees an osprey fly by with a 
large fish in its talons, the Eagle does not hesitate to levy tribute on 
the subject bird. Taken thus at a great disadvantage the fish-hawk 
has no option but to drop its fish, and go away to catch another, 
while the Eagle catches the prize before it touches the water and 
bears it away. 

In its distribution, this Eagle ranges over the whole of North 
America from Mexico to Kamchatka. Considering the size of the 
bird, it holds its own remarkably well, even in New England. In 
Florida it is very abundant all along the Indian River, and in one 
locality in the State of Washington it is so numerous that its depreda- 
tions on the flocks of sheep-raisers are cause for serious complaint 
and reprisals. 

In the East so many Eagles are caught alive and offered for sale 
that it is a difficult matter to find sale for one at $10. This bird so 
seldom destroys domestic animals, or game-birds, there is no excuse 
for its destruction save possibly in a few far-western localities where 



52 Bird Day Book 

it happens to be very numerous, and evinces a particular fondness 
for lambs. 

For many reasons it has become almost a fashion among writers 
to denounce the Bald Eagle, and declare it a shame that such a 
bird ever was chosen as our national standard-bearer. Some have 
asserted that the brave and high-minded wild-turkey would have 
been more appropriate ! 

Against all of this, I have nothing to say. The American Eagle 
needs no defense from me. Whether 

"He clasps the crag with hooked hands, 
Close to the sun in lonely lands," 

or perches defiantly on the United States coat-of-arms, with a brow 
to threaten or command, he is beloved by at least seventy-two mil- 
lion people who will rise as one whenever he is really in need of 
defenders. Abroad, it once was well-nigh an international fashion 
to flout this bird, and the standard he bears ; but since May 1, 1900, 
that fashion has gone out. Abroad, those who do not respect this 
bird fear him, wholesomely. At home, it is quite time for all 
strangers to secure an introduction to him, and for some of those 
who should be his friends but are not, to write him down no longer. 

— American Natural History. 



Alabama, 19 15. 53 

THE SPIRIT OF THE EAGLE 

HALF wakened by a moonbeam's farewell kiss, 
The pool within the forest meadow lay 
And smoked with early mists. O'er night's abyss 

The errant breezes of arriving day 
Brushed with their fairy hands the sleeping pines, 

Hailed forth the ruddy legions of the sun 
To fill the East with ruby of old wines, 

And called the jeweled birds out one by one, 
Till presently within the wood there fell 
A thrush's chiming, like a crystal bell. 
That sylvan note in elfin echoes ran 

From hill to hill, from grove to honeyed grove, 
And as a dream voice in the ear of Pan 

Presaging day, its liquid music strove 
To rouse the slumbrous god. Fragrant and cool 

The respirations of the quickening dawn 
Breathed o'er the wood; then lo! beside the pool 

Blushing and ivory-limbed, white nymph and Faun 
Leaped joyously ; or borne on shaggy brute 
Trafficked in cherry blooms and wood-sweet fruit. 

The low moon set. The wood folk brave with song 

Romped wildly in their Bacchanalian glee 
Till one among this gallant festive throng 

Blew the shrill silver horn that bade them flee, 
And even at the warning, from the glade 

The voice of something sorely wounded cried. 
Headlong they fled as from the pine tree's shade 

A white doe broke the thicket. In her side 
An arrow drove her on with bitter pain, 
And flecked her silky flank with crimson stain. 

Straight to the pool she blindly made her way, 

Ah, piteous sight to those bright morning skies! 

For reaching it she stumbled, fell and lay 
Half in the water, with soft dewy eyes 



54: Bird Day Book 

In terror backward gazing toward the wood ; 

And when the East was bathed in golden light, 
Came Acteon and in the meadow stood, 

Searching with eager glance to left and right. 
He saw her ! gave a loud triumphant cry, 
And plucked an arrow from his war-girth thigh. 

But there he paused. Out of the morning blue 

Swift as a plummet dropped from Zeus' throne 
With sword-shaped pinions dipped in sunrise hue, 

A great gold eagle plunged, a living stone, 
Ah, then it was the hunter stayed his hand, 

For with its mighty wings spread dark and wide, 
The bird in cooling shadow gently fanned 

The stricken deer ; and hovering by her side 

Wrenched at the arrow that had laid her low, 
And filled the air with screams of fiercest woe. 

Oh, Acteon, be gone ere yet the dawn 

Hath dried from vine and leaf the crystal dew ; 
Go, go ! ere Dryad, Nymph and bearded Faun 

Come to avenge the death of her ye slew. 
But look! Fate holds him and he waits too long, 

The meadow seethes in anger and dismay ; 
The eagle claps his wings, ten thousand strong 

Flash creatures of the forest forth to slay ! 

And he who reaped the life blood of the doe, 
The king of birds strikes earthward with a blow! 

So are the weaker championed by the strong; 
So doth the hunter with the hunted bleed; 
And so the eagle's battle ringing song 

Doth voice for man a brave immortal creed! 

— Paul Brandreth. 




Passenger Pigeon. 



Alabama, ip 15. 55 

LAST OF WILD PIGEONS DIES 



NiEWS of the death in Cincinnati of Martha, the last wild 
1 pigeon in the world, according to all ornithological records, 
88331 was conveyed recently to P. Gilbert Pearson, general execu- 
tive officer of the National Audubon Societies, in a telegram 
from Eugene Swope, the Ohio agent of the societies at Cincinnati. 
The death of Martha, according to Mr. Pearson, is a calamity of as 
great importance in the eyes of naturalists as the death of a Kaiser 
to Germans throughout the world. 

Martha had been in poor health for several years in her cage at 
the Zoological Garden in Cincinnati. Many efforts had been made 
to find a mate for her, or to discover some other specimen of the 
wild pigeon, but they were without avail. According to all ornitholo- 
gical data available, Martha was the last of her tribute in the world. 

Members of the National Audubon Societies some time ago of- 
fered a prize of $1,500 to any one who could find a wild pigeon nest. 
All that was necessary was to find the nest, telegraph C. F. Hodge, 
a naturalist of Clark University, and to await the findings of orni- 
thologists whom he would immediately dispatch to the scene to 
investigate the genuineness of the find. The Audubon Societies 
received on an average 100 false alarms a year, but in not a single 
case was the nest reported found to be a wild pigeon's. Instead 
almost every such nest was found to be that of an ordinary turtle 
dove. The wild pigeon resembles the ordinary wild dove, but is 
considerably larger. 

The extinction of the wild pigeon was the more amazing be- 
cause of the vast extent to which it had flourished in this country 
prior to 1865. Wild passenger pigeons used to travel over the 
country by millions. Audubon himself told of their roosting in cer- 



56 Bird Day Book 

tain parts of Kentucky in territory covering a space three miles 
long, which was almost literally hidden by them. Hundreds of 
farmers, he tells, used to camp on the outside of the vast roosting 
pigeon host and shoot them by the thousands from the edge of their 
resting place. The birds were fed by thousands to the farmers' 
hogs after each night's killing. 

The slaughter raged for years with nets, traps, and guns, and 
by 1884 there were very few of the wild pigeons seen in the country. 
Several years ago they had dwindled down to a few specimens left 
in captivity in Milwaukee and in the Cincinnati Zoo. Martha's 
mate died about four years ago, and though a prize of $1,000 was 
offered for any one who could find another bird to take its place, 
Martha remained in solitary widowhood until she died. 

Martha herself was hatched in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo. 
At the time of her death she was twenty-nine years old. Her last 
illness had been a matter of concern to ornithologists the world over, 
and the Cincinnati agent of the Audubon Societies had been in- 
structed to communicate at once with leading ornithologists and 
naturalists of the country as soon as she died. 




Alabama, ip 15. 57 



SAGE HEN 



T*"nHIS, the largest of American grouse, measuring about 
( twenty-eight inches in length and weighing up to eight 
reBall pounds, is found in western North America from British 
Columbia and Assiniboia to central California and Colorado. 
The hen bird is considerably smaller than the cock, measuring but 
twenty-three inches in length. 

These great birds inhabit the Great Basin and arid plains 
throughout their range, where sage is the prevailing brush. They 
are strictly terrestrial fowl, feeding almost wholly on sage leaves 
which impart a disagreeable taste to their flesh. They remain com- 
mon only in regions remote from civilization, for their large bodies 
offer such an easy mark even though their flight be swift, that they 
soon become scarce after the country becomes settled. 

Because of their great size, the actions of cock birds during 
mating season are even more ludicrous than those of other grouse 
The air sacs on the neck are enormously inflated until the whole 
breast is balloon-shaped and then he slides along over the bare 
ground for some distance on this improvised pneumatic tire. While 
expelling the air, he produces a great variety of cackling and 
rumbling noises. At the end of this season the feathers on the 
breast are worn away by this constant friction with the ground, 
leaving only the stiff shafts at their ends. 

— Game Birds. 



58 Bird Day Book 



ELEGY— WRITTEN IN SPRING 

♦ ® » 

LOOSED from the bands of frost, the verdant ground 
Again puts on her robe of cheerful green, 
Again puts forth her flowers ; and all around 
Smiling, the cheerful face of Spring is seen. 



Behold ! the trees new deck their withered boughs ; 

Their ample leaves, the hospitable plane, 
The taper elm, and lofty ash disclose ; 

The blooming hawthorn variegates the scene. 



The lily of the vale, of flowers the queen, 

Puts on the robe she neither sewed nor spun ; 

The birds on ground, or on the branches green, 
Hop to and fro, and glitter in the sun. 



Soon as o'er eastern hills the morning peers, 
From her low nest the tufted lark upsprings ; 

And, cheerful singing, up the air she steers; 

Still high she mounts, still loud and sweet she sings. 



Now is the time for those who wisdom love, 
Who love to walk in virtue's flowery road, 

Along the lovely paths of Spring to rove, 
And follow Nature up to Nature's God. 

— Michael Bruce. 




105 



WILD TURKEY. 
I Life size 



COPYRIGHT 1900, BY A. W. MUMFORD, CHICAGO 



Alabama, 1915. 59 

WILD TURKEY 



WILD Turkeys are the largest and finest of game birds and the 
originators of the common domestic turkeys. They are 
found in their several races in eastern and southern United 
States, north to Pennsylvania and west to Texas ; formerly 
north to New England. They frequent wooded districts and are 
by nature very wary and shy, yet they are very easily trapped and 
it was this means that has driven them from most of their former 
range. At present they are taken chiefly by trailing or by calling. 
They have a remarkable keen sense of sight and smell and a strong 
pair of legs with which to run away, as well as good wings if neces- 
sity demands their use. With plenty of cover, the turkey is pretty 
capable of caring for himself. 

— Game Birds. 

SEASONABLE 

CAME a glimpse of black and orange from the maples o'er 
the way, 
Where the oriole was trilling to his mate. 
The blackbird in the willows whistled merrily all day, 
So we thought our winter woolens out of date. 

The robin's merry music awakened us at dawn 

And the grass was showing green along the street, 

But something seemed to tell us that we better keep em on, 
Although to lay 'em off would be a treat. 

We heard the tree-toads chirping in the trees, a little bit, 

We began to think the spring was really here. 
'T was such a forward season that we donned our Porosknit, 

Then the weather changed so quick, we thought it queer. 

We'd no sooner got 'em on than the mercury went down, 

So we slid back in those woolens mighty soon. 
Now, we're just agoin' to wear 'em, let the weather smile or frown 

And we'll never take 'em off again 'till June. 

—A. W. Whitehead. 



60 Bird Day Book 



"THE BROOKSIDE AND THE HILLSIDE" 

THE stream beneath a bridge had made a pool 
Of dusky water, fring'd with sedge and reeds, 
Where water lilies their white vases oped 
Each with a gem of gold within its heart. 
On the slant bank the wild rosebushes grew, 
All their pink petals to the view disclos'd, 
Their images reflected in the wave. 
Here flew the bright kingfishers, blue and gold, 
Foll'wing in flight the windings of the stream ; 
And here a bird with snow-white, downy breast, 
The water-ouzel, dipping its black bill, 
Perched on a mossy stone, or skimmed the wave: 

It was a fairy scene to charm the eye! 
Down the swift stream, amid the shadow's dusk, 
The gnat swarms hovered, and the minnows bright 
Twinkled and lighten'd in the sweeping tide, 
And leaped the trout where insects sought the wave. 
The sweetest song-birds from each bending twig 
And coppice pour'd their souls in liquid strains ; 
And heavens above were sunshine, and the earth 
Rejoiced in a full fruition of the day ; 
Delicious were the bird-hymns, and most sweet 
The trickling murmur of the running brook." 

— John Keats. 



Alabama, ip 15. 61 



STRIVE, WAIT AND PRAY 

STRIVE : yet I do not promise 
The prize you dream of today 
Will not fade when you think to grasp it, 

And melt in your hand away; 
But another and holier treasure, 

You would now perchance disdain, 
Will come when your toil is over, 
And pay you for all your pain. 

Wait : yet I do not tell you 

The hour you long for now 
Will not come with its radiance vanished, 

And a shadow upon its brow; 
Yet, far through the misty future, 

With a crown of starry light, 
An hour of joy you know not 

Is winging her silent flight. 

Pray : though the gift you ask for 

May never comfort your fears — 
May never repay your pleadings — 

Yet pray, and with hopeful tears ; 
An answer, not that you long for, 

But diviner will come one day; 
Your eyes are too dim to see it, 

Yet strive, and wait, and pray. 

— Adelaide A. Proctor. 



62 Bird Day Book 



m 



THE PARABLE OF THE DAY 

+®+ 

THE autumn day is weaving 
Shimmering mist o'er brook and bower; 
With golden wand it touches 

Rustling leaf and fading flower; 
Its shuttle is unwinding 

Wondrous tinted threads of song, 
And binding every shadow 

With the sunset's crimson thong. 

Love's golden loom is weaving 

Brightest hope o'er every life, 
And stilling with a glowing promise 

Every throb of pain and strife. 
While from its shuttle 'tis unsnarling 

Many threads of somber woe, 
"Tis lacing all in rich designing 

For the weft of evening glow. 

— Mary Grace Hayes. 



m 



Alabama, 1915. 63 

TOWHEE OR CHEWINK 



THIS is a bird of the swamps, brushy pastures and open wood- 
lands. They are ground birds and usually are found scratch- 
ing among the leaves; the male, with his black, white and 
brown clothes, makes a conspicuous object, while the female, 
with her brown and white dress, harmonizes with the leaves so that 
it is difficult to see her. While his mate is sitting on her nest, the 
male will frequently sit in a tree top and persistently sing for many 
minutes at a time. 

The song is a loud and clear, "tow-hee-e-e" or "see-tow-hee-e-e," 
with the last notes tremulous ; the call is a sharp "chewink." The 
nest is usually on the ground, but rarely in bushes ; it is made of 
strips of bark, grass and leaves. The eggs are white with reddish- 
brown dots over the whole surface. 

The Chewink breeds in eastern North America, from the Gulf 
States to Southern Canada, and it winters in the Southern States. 

A sub-species is the White-eyed Towhee, which has white eyes 
instead of red and has less white on the tail ; it is found on the South 
Atlantic coast. 

— Bird Guide. 




64 Bird Day Book 

A LITTLE MINISTER 

1KNOW a little minister who has a big degree ; 
Just like a long-tailed kite he flies his D. D. D. D. D. 
His pulpit is old-fashioned, though made out of growing pine ; 
His great-grandfather preached in it in days of auld lang syne. 

Sometimes this little minister forgets his parson's airs — 
I saw him turn a somersault right on the pulpit stairs ; 
And once, in his old meeting-house, he flew into the steeple, 
And rang a merry chime of bells to call the feathered people. 

He has a tiny help-meet, too, who wears a gown and cap, 
And is so very wide-awake she seldom takes a nap ; 
She preaches also sermonettes, with headlets one, two, three, 
In singing monosyllables beginning each with D. 

But O her little minister she does almost adore — 

I've heard her call her sweet D. D. full twenty times or more. 

And his pet polysyllable — why, did you hear it never ? 

He calls her Phe-be B, so dear, I'd listen on forever. 

Now if there is a Bright Eyes small who'd like to go with me, 

And on his cautious tiptoes ten creep softly to a tree, 

I'll coax this little minister to quit his leafy perch, 

And show this little boy or girl the way to go to church. 

And where his cozy parsonage his hidden in the trees, 
And how in summer it is full of little D. D. D.'s ; 
And if Bright Eyes will prick his ears he'll hear the titmice say, 
"Good-morning !" which in Chicadese is always, "Day, day, day." 

— Ella Gilbert Ives. 



Alabama, ip ij. 65 

THE GOLDEN TREASURY 

THE Attic warbler pours her throat 
Responsive to the cuckoo's note, 
The untaught harmony of Spring: 
While, whispering pleasure as they fly, 
Cool Zephyrs thro' the clear blue sky 
Their gather'd fragrance fling. 



Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch 

A broader, browner shade, 
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech 

O'er canopies the glade, 
Beside some water's rushy brink 
With me the Muse shall sit, and think 
(At ease reclined in rustic state) 
How vain the ardor of the crowd, 
How low, how little are the proud, 

How indigent the great ! 



Still is the toiling hand of Care; 

The panting herds repose: 
Yet hark, how thro' the peopled air 

The busy murmur glows ! 
The insect-youth are on the wing, 
Eager to taste the honeyed Spring 
And float amid the liquid noon : 
Some lightly o'er the current skim, 
Some show their gayly-gilded trim 

Quick-glancing to the sun. 

3BB 



66 Bird Day Book 

THE CONSERVATION OF WILD LIFE IN ALABAMA 



P 



RIOR to the enactment of our present system of game and 
bird conservation we struggled along under the operation of 
local game laws that were totally inefficient and non-enforce- 
able. Each year every species of wild life was being rapidly 
depleted. Hundreds of thousands of our live quail were trapped 
and shipped to northern markets, while thousands of dozens of 
these birds were slaughtered by pot-hunters and expressed to dis- 
tant cities where they brought fancy prices at restaurants. 

Deer and wild turkey were disappearing; doves were growing 
fewer ; squirrels were deplorably scarce. 

If a census of the game in Alabama had been taken in 1907 and 
then again in 1914 the result would undoubtedly show that during 
the last seven years game and birds have increased in Alabama at 
least two-fold. The cause of the multiplication of the wild species 
is due to the following reasons : 

(a) The close season on game is universally respected. 

(b) The transportation of game to points within and without 
the State by common-carriers has been absolutely stopped. 

(c) The sale of game, except in remote instances and then only 
very surreptitiously, has ceased. The pot-hunter therefore having 
been deprived of enjoying the monetary fruits of his murderous 
vocation has stopped the butchery of game. 

(d) The prerequisite of persons hunting outside of their voting 
precinct of residence without licenses has kept hundreds of members 
of the idle and worthless classes found in towns and cities, out of 
the fields and forests. 

(e) The provision of the law requiring written permission to 
hunt on lands has reduced the area over which hunting was formerly 
done and therefore has permitted game to increase in many localities 
without molestation. 



Alabama, ip 15. 67 

(f) The bag-limit has been respected by all true sportsmen who 
have compelled many game-hogs, by fear of prosecution and moral 
suasion, to abide its terms. 

(g) The farmers have realized the value of birds and game and 
have resisted its wholesale slaughter on their possessions. 

(h) Public sentiment has become thoroughly awakened as to 
the value of birds and game, and except in notoriously lawless com- 
munities, has compelled the observance of our conservation statutes. 

It must be realized that it is impossible to enact an unbreakable 
law. Men are constantly committing offenses punishable by death, 
although they have full knowledge of the penalty of their crime in 
the event of conviction. A man-made law that does not embrace a 
portion of the decalogue is popularly construed to envolve no moral 
wrong ; it is therefore difficult to secure convictions for offenses like 
smoking on street cars, expectorating on the sidewalks or exceeding 
the speed-limit prescribed for motor cars. No man feels called 
upon to report his neighbor for such offenses, and the local peace 
officers are notoriously inactive, hence but few prosecutions for the 
class of offenses cited follow. 

It is imperative therefore that if a conservation law is to be 
enforced it must be committed to a specially constituted department, 
aided and augmented by vigilant special law officers, or wardens, 
whose specific duty it is to bring all offenders against it promptly 
to justice. 

All other systems of enforcing conservation statutes have been 
tried and have been abandoned for the reason that they have proven 
woeful failures. In forty-seven States the enforcement of the game 
laws is entrusted to game commissioners. 

A law is observed for the following reasons : 

(a) Because the individual favors that particular law. 

(b) Because it is the law, and the individual, though he may 
oppose it, is a law-abiding citizen. 

(c) Fear of apprehension and of subsequent punishment. 

The enforcement of a conservation statute therefore is not merely 
a matter of education and civilization, but of constant vigilance as 
well. 



68 Bird Day Book 

The benefits arising under our conservation laws, as well as the 
by-products such as keeping the negroes at work during the hunt- 
ing season, and worthless pilferers of small stock and poultry out 
of the fields, are so great that the great mass of our people regard 
the statutes for the conservation of their natural resources of field, 
forest and streams as the most popular laws enacted in fifty years. 

The wild life of Alabama is steadily coming back. Deer and 
turkey each year are seen in numbers in counties from which they 
had practically disappeared twenty years ago. Indeed, a citizen of 
Tuscaloosa county has for the past two years written the Com- 
missioner of Game and Fish, each season, demanding pay for his 
anuanl pea crop which he alleges has been destroyed by herds of 
the State's deer. 

It is safe to assert that Alabama is far ahead of any other South- 
ern State in game, bird and fish conservation, being the pioneer in 
the South in this regard and that the laws rank along with those of 
the older States of the North and East. 

There is therefore guaranteed to our people and to posterity a 
fair and reasonable supply of game which bids fair to increase to the 
point when, as of yore, Alabama will become a hunter's paradise, 
a veritable sportsman's elysium. 



Alabama, ipi 5. 69 



BARN OWL 

HIS Owl is about seventeen inches in length. Its facial disk 



T-** W ^»TX ^ .*» VU .. w,V, T x,XXl.V,V,XX XXXV,XXW XXX 1WX & 
is not circular as in our other owls ; the plumage above is 
pale yellow, and beneath varying from silky white to pale 
bright tawny. It is a resident of Mexico, in the southern 
United States and north to New York, Ohio, Nebraska and Cali- 
fornia. 

The barn owl, often called monkey-faced owl, is one of the 
most beneficial of the birds of prey, since it feeds almost exclu- 
sively on small mammals that injure farm produce, nursery and 
orchard stock. It hunts principally in the open and consequently 
secures such mammals as pocket gophers, field mice, common rats, 
house mice, harvest mice, kangaroo rats and cotton rats. It occa- 
sionally captures a few birds and insects. At least a half bushel of 
the remains of pocket gophers have been found in the nesting cavity 
of a pair of these birds. Remembering that a gopher has been 
known in a short time to girdle seven apricot trees worth $100 it is 
hard to overestimate the value of the service of a pair of barn owls. 
1,247 pellets of the barn owl collected from the Smithsonian towers 
contained 3,100 skulls of which 3,004, or 97 per cent, were of mam- 
mals ; 92, or 3 per cent, of birds ; and 4 were of frogs. The bulk con- 
sisted of 1,987 field mice, 656 house mice and 210 common rats. 
The birds eaten were mainly sparrows and blackbirds. This valu- 
able owl should be rigidly protected throughout its entire range. 

— Biological Survey Bulletin. 



1* 



THE OWL 

BLUE-EYED, strange-voiced, sharp-beak'd, ill-omen'd fowl, 
What are thou? 

— What I ought to be, an owl; 
But if I'm such a scarecrow in your eye, 
You're a much greater fright in mine ; — good-bye ! 



70 Bird Day Book 

A SONG OF THE FALL 

STATELY pine and quaking asp and berry bush where the blue 
grouse drums, 
Willow leaf that borders the brook, and last few flowers where the 

wild bee hums ; 
And down the glade to the lowlands, Boy, to the sod and fallow and 

fen, 
Where the ferns skirt up to the service-bush, with the twit of the 
willow hen ; 

For that is the way 
At the close of day 
We hear the song of the wild. 

Across the waste where the sage is rank, and the blue marsh lies 

in the sun, 
The sage cock struts, but beckons not, the day is not yet done ; 
A western breeze sighs in rustling ease where the thick green tulles 

sway, 
And bittern shrieks, and nightbirds talk to the sinking orb of day — 

Listen, the din ! 
When the flight comes in 
To answer the voice of the night. 

Bronze-green head of the mallard drake, keen and alert at the turn, 
The old wild song of passing swan, the wierdness of coot and hern ; 
Gadwall and teal in the fading blue and wise old duck of ebon hue, 
And rasping talk of things that squawk are heard in the broad-bill 
crew — 

Now, Boy, find 
That good old blind 
And we'll list to the song of fall. 



Alabama, 19 15. 71 

Cold gray eye, with snap in the air and rush of wings o'erhead 
And sprinkle of rain is a joyful cause and sun's glare turns to red ; 
Mark to the right! and the quick, short snap that pops from the 

tube of steel, 
And feathered flock drives up from the shock with many a dart and 
reel — 

Ho, for the bird, Boy ! 
Charge ! You are heard, Boy ! 
Wait for the speeding flight! 

Muscle and bone, and the blood-red tone — gifts of the golden wild ; 
Quick'ning pulse, and the huntsman's pride, and tender heart of a 

child 
That does not kill, nor wanton slay, but follows man-made law of 

the day 
With the pagan tang that always sang in the blood of the primal 
way — 

So, eyes down the wind, Boy ! 
Follow and find, Boy/ 
Ho, for the autumn flight ! 

— Chas. G. Sumner. 




72 Bird Day Book 

DOWITCHER 

OWITCHERS are divided into two races ; the present, which 
is the eastern form, and the Long-billed Dowitcher, which is 
supposed to be chiefly western. The former probably 
breeds in northern Ungava and Arctic Islands and migrates 
chiefly along the Atlantic coast; the latter breeds along the Arctic 
coast west of Hudson Bay and migrates through the western part 
of Mississippi Valley, both wintering from the Gulf States to South 
America. Since the distinction is dependent wholly upon size and 
length of bills, and these features among shore birds are always 
very variable, they may well be considered as one variety, as in all 
probability they are. 

Like most of the sandpipers a great difference exists between 
the summer and winter plumage, the latter being composed only of 
grays and whites. Although very small, only a trifle more than ten 
inches in length, they are shot in great quantities ; while quite wary, 
they very readily decoy and consequently are very easy to secure. 
They are known by a great variety of names, most common of 
which are red-breast, snipe, robin snipe, brown snipe, German snipe 
and gray-back, some referring to the summer and some to the 
winter plumages. They are quite gregarious and are usually seen in 
large flocks during migrations, though sometimes a few mix with 
flocks of other species. 

— Game Birds. 



m 



Alabama, ipij. 73 

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK 



THE male of this species is black and white with rose breast 
and under wing coverts, but the female resembles a large 
striped sparrow in color. The center of abundance of these 
beautiful creatures is in the northern half of eastern United 
States. In beauty and song they fully atone for what the northern- 
ers lose because of the southerly distribution of the Cardinal. They 
are found in swamps, small patches of woods and sometimes in 
orchards and gardens. They are rather quiet birds, that is, they do 
not move about much, but they can easily be found by their song. 
The song is a rich, full, whistling carol, almost without exception 
immediately preceded by a sharp chip. The call is a deep-toned 
chirp. The nest is a loose, frail cradle of twigs at low elevations in 
trees or thickets ; the eggs are bluish green spotted with brown. 

These birds breed in the northern half, east of the Rockies, and 
in southern Canada. They winter in Central America. 

— Bird Guide. 
& £ £ 

BIRDS IN THE NIGHT 

BIRDS in the night that softly call, 
Winds in the night that strangely sigh, 
Come to me, help me, one and all, 

And murmur, murmur, murmur, murmur, baby's lullaby, 
Lullaby, Lullaby, Lullalulla, Lullalullaby, Lullaby Baby, 
While the hours run, Fair may the day be, 
When night is done, Lullaby, Baby, while the hours run, 
Lullaby, Lullaby, Lullaby, Lullaby, Lullaby. 

Life may be sad for us that wake, 

Sleep, little bird, and dream not why. 

Soon is the sleep but God can break, 

When angels whisper, whisper, angels whisper lullaby, 

Lullaby, Lullaby, Lullalulla, Lullalullaby, Lullaby Baby, 

While the hours run, Fair may the day be, 

When night is done, Lullaby, Baby, while the hours run, 

Lullaby, Lullaby, Lullaby, Lullaby. Lullaby. 



74 Bird Day Book 

TO A PIPE, I 
» & » 

PARENT of Fancy and its lovely dream ! 
Brother of Solace and close-clinging Hope; 
You shall be near me when I vainly grope, 
Earthward along Faith's full umblemished stream ; 
Thrice blessed Pipe — you will forever teem 
With such delights — there is no slope, 
So green, could ease me — when you ope 
Lo, wide the door on Life's most sunny beam ! 
Call me an hour for redeeming thought ; 

(Some musing hour, some undisturbed hour) 
And do not wake me — let me quiet be, 
With all the world of friendship in my power. 
Then in the wavering smoke shall sorrows flee, 
And many a face shall rise where I have sought. 

TO A PIPE, II 

Then I'll recline among enraptured scenes ! 
A brook— a meadow — and blue skies : — 
And all those things of shadowy emprise ; 

Such as the twilight on far-fading greens ; 

Some shape of summer that forever gleans, 
Stillness and joy — such as entice 
Us to dear Nature's breast. To rise 

Far — far above to deeper — deathless, means. 

Then I'll depart — and in my heart no fear ; 

Wreathed all around I will be Memory's King — 

Some wandering nomad, ever at his quest, 
Or risen high, on an engoldened wing : 
So shall I pierce beyond our Heaven's Rest, 
Or melt to rain in the blue atmosphere ! 



Alabama, 19 15. 75 



AN OLD ORCHARD IN WINTER 

IT WAS years ago, and no one knows 
Just who planted the orchard rows, 
Bedded and firmed the tender feet 
Of the Twenty Ounce and the Golden Sweet, 
And the straggling clan whose branches meet 
Over Pomona's little aisles. . . . 

A tumbledown wall and an old rail fence 

Guard the orchard with poor pretense ; 

And pilferers, footed and winged, come there 

Even in winter, when boughs are bare, 

And the nuthatch hunts for his meager share, 

Peering and pecking this way and that, 

First up, then down, like an acrobat. . 

Deer stroll in from the mountain pass . . . 
Gratefully nosing the buried treat 
Of fruit, frost-bitten, and brown, and sweet, 
Brought to light by their trampling feet; 
And up where weathering crabapples cling 
The grosbeaks cavil and feast and sing. . . . 
All winter long to the Golden Sweet 
And the Twenty Ounce and the trees that meet, 
Neglected and old, in this wild retreat 
Come bird and beast in their need akin, 
And make the old orchard their wayside inn. 
— Florence Boyce Davis, in "The Scoop." 



76 Bird Day Book 

A GROSBEAK IN THE GARDEN 

WHEN through the heaviness and clamoring throng 
Of mortal ways I hear the mellow song 
Of birds, the birds seem sent to me. 
If this be my insanity, 
As men will measure it — so let it be ! 

When shadows that no will can drive away 
Entomb me, then no sermon blesseth day, 
More true and sweet than that pure note 
My ear hath caught afloat 
From out the garden grosbeak's fervent throat. 

Thou, crimson-caped messenger of God, 
Seem'st not to feel the thorned and bitter rod 
Of Life — thy hours are joyously beguiled 
With melodies so wild! 
In sooth, thy creed is trusting as a child! 

Full knowing that thy living days are brief 
Thou grudgest even an hour for sober grief ; 
Thy poems are scattered free, without a name, 
Nor hast thou thought of fame ! 
Is my unpaid aspiring yet my blame ? 

The world is wide 'twixt man and worlds divine, 
And hearts are dull to such a song as thine ; 
But I have heard. Sing on, from tree to tree, 
As thou has sung to me, — 
And more shall find the God that guideth thee ! 
Ivan Swift, Harbor Springs, Michigan. 



Alabama, 191 5. 77 

THE GAME LAW 



PROHIBITS the killing of wild birds other than the game 
birds enumerated below, except English sparrows, hawks, 
owls and crows. The open season on game birds is as fol- 
lows : Wild turkey gobblers, from December 1st to April 
1st ; quail, November 1st to March 1st ; doves, August 1st to March 
1st; swan, geese, brant, ducks, rails, coots, mud hens, sand pipers, 
woodcocks and curlews, September 1st to March 15th; snipe and 
plover, November 1st to May 1st. 

The killing of wild turkey hens is at all times prohibited. 

Prohibits any pitfall, deadfall, scaffold, cage, snare, trap, net, 
salt lick, baited hook or baited field, or any other similar device, or 
any drug, poisonous chemicals or explosives, for the purpose of 
injuring, capturing or killing any protected bird or animal ; also 
prohibits hunting protected birds or animals between dark and day- 
light. Unlawful to kill or capture any song or insect destroying 
bird at any time. 

Open season on deer, November 1st to January 1st, and prohibits 
killing of doe, or female deer, at all times. 

Open season on squirrels from October 1st to the following 
March 1st. 

Fixes the following limits for each person in one day : One 
deer, two turkeys, and twenty-five game birds. 

Prohibits the sale or offering for sale of protected game birds 
or animals. 

Prohibits the shipping or carrying of game except openly and in 
the possession of those who have hunter's license, as required by 
law. Prohibits carriers from accepting game to be carried in any 
other way, either within the State or without the State. Prohibits 
absolutely the carrying or shipping of live game. 

Makes it unlawful to hunt on the land of another without written 
permission. 



78 Bird Day Book 

OVEN-BIRD 



T™'1HIS bird has an orange brown head, bordered by black; there 
I is no white on the wings or tail. Oven-birds are found in 
ffiillgl open woods where they build their arched nests on the 
ground among the leaves or pine needles. It is the peculiar 
oven-like construction of their nests that give them their name. 
They are essentially ground birds, only mounting to the lower 
branches of trees to sing or when scolding an intruder. 

The song is a peculiar ascending note resembling the word 
teacher, repeated five or six times and gathering strength and vol- 
ume with each syllable ; the call is a sharp chip. 

The nest is made of leaves, strips of bark and grass arched over 
the top so as to leave a very small opening; it is placed on the 
ground in woods. There are four to six white eggs spotted with 
reddish brown. 

Oven-birds breed throughout eastern North America, in the 
northern half of the United States and north to Labrador; they 
winter chiefly south of the United States. 

- — Bird Guide. 



Alabama, 19 15. 79 



THERE WAS A CHERRY-TREE 

THERE was a cherry-tree. Its bloomy snows 
Cool even now the fevered sight that knows 
No more its airy visions of pure joy — 
As when you were a boy. 

There was a cherry-tree. The Blue- jay set 
His blue against its white — O blue as jet 

He seemd there then ! — But now — Whoever knew 
He was so pale a blue ! 

There was a cherry-tree — Our child-eyes saw 
The miracle : — Its pure white snows did thaw 

Into a crimson fruitage, far too sweet 
But for a boy to eat. 

There was a cherry tree, give thanks and joy! — 

There was a bloom of snow — There was a boy- 
There was a Blue- jay of the realest blue — 
And fruit for both of you. 

— James Whit comb Riley. 



m 



80 Bird Day Book 

THE DAYS GONE BY 

OTHE days gone by ! O the days gone by ! 
The apples in the orchard, and the pathway through the rye ; 
The chirrup of the robin, and the whistle of the quail 
As he piped across the meadows sweet as any nightingale; 
When the bloom was on the clover, and the blue was in the sky, 
And my happy heart brimmed over, in the days gone by. 



m 



THE FLYCATCHER CLASS 

THE Flycatcher bird is a lively bird, 
And a way of his own hath he, 
To perch perchance on a weed or a post 
Or the outer branch of a tree. 

There, turning his head from side to side, 

He looks with an eager eye, 
Above, below, and all around, 

For insects as they fly. 

On seeing one, he's off like a flash, 
For a capture quick, and then, 

With easy, dancing flight, returns 
To his chosen perch again. 

Oh, the Flycatcher birds are lively birds, 

And sportsmen every one, 
They always take their game on the wing, 

Without the noise of a gun. 
— By permission of Dr. Garrett Newkirk. 



Alabama, ipi 5. 81 

THE WORM THE BIRD DID NOT EAT 



•wat HEN you find a worm in the fruit you are eating — don't 

* * blame the worm, nor the dealer who sold you the fruit, but 

Bsefeg5l blame the man, woman, or boy who killed the bird that 

would have eaten the worm. Men hunters, women and girl 

bird wearers, and boy shooters and collectors of eggs — all these are 

to blame for the worms in the fruit and vegetables. 

BOYS AND GUNS AND CAMERAS 

Think of the hardening, degrading effect on the boys who go 
around shooting at birds and other animals. Think also of the 
great danger to everybody. The children themselves are often 
injured. Many cases of eyes partially or wholly destroyed by toy 
guns have been reported. 

Think of the softening, uplifting effect on the boys who go 
around with cameras taking pictures of birds and other animals. 
They have the fun of getting the pictures. Their friends have the 
pleasure of receiving copies of the photograph. No one is injured by 
their sport. 

John D. Barry says : "What we want to believe, we believe on 
the slightest excuse. Fashion gives women an excellent excuse for 
believing that it is right to wear feathers and birds in their hats, 
and on their backs, animal skins and furs. It will take some time 
before they will let themselves accept their share and responsibility 
in the barbarity." 

— Western Humane Press Committee. 



82 Bird Day Book 

PHOEBE 



A 



PHOEBE is always associated with old bridges and bubbling 
brooks. Nearly every bridge which is at all adapted for the 
purpose has its Phoebe home beneath it, to which the same 
pair of birds will return year after year, sometimes building 
a new nest, sometimes repairing the old. They seem to be of a 
nervous temperament, for, as they sit upon their usual look-out 
perch, their tails are continually twitching as though in anticipation 
of the insects that are sure to pass sooner or later. 

A jerky, emphatic "phoe-be" with the accent on the second syl- 
lable, and still further accented by a vigorous flirt of the tail, com- 
prises the principle note of this bird. 

The nest is made of mud, grass and moss, plastered to the sides 
of beams or logs under bridges, culverts or barns. In May or June 
four or five white eggs are laid. 

These birds breed in North America east of the Rockies, north 
to southern Canada, and winter in the southern United States and 
southward. 

— Bird Guide. 



Alabama, 191 5. 83 

TO A PHOEBE-BIRD 

UNDER the eaves, out of the wet, 
You nest within my reach ; 
You never sing for me and yet 
You have a golden speech. 

You sit and quirk a rapid tail, 

Wrinkle a ragged crest, 
Then pirouet from tree to rail 

And vault from rail to nest. 

And when in frequent, witty fright 

You grayly slip and fade, 
And when at hand you re-alight 

Demure and unafraid, 

And when you bring your brood its fill 

Of iridescent wings 
And green legs dewy in your bill, 

Your silence is what sings. 

Not of a feather that enjoys 

To prate or praise or preach, 
O Phcebe, with your lack of noise, 

What eloquence you teach! 

Witter Bynner. 



84 Bird Day Book 

BALTIMORE ORIOLE 



T 



HE male of this bird is orange and black, while the female 
is dull yellowish and gray. They are sociable birds and 
seem to like the company of mankind, for their nests are, 
from choice, built as near as possible to houses, often being 
where they can be reached from windows. As they use a great 
deal of string in the construction of their nests, children often get 
amusement by placing bright-colored pieces of yarn where the 
birds will get them, and watch them weave them into their homes. 

The song is a clear, querulous, varied whistle or warble, and the 
call is a plaintive whistle. The nest is a pensile structure, often 
hanging eight or ten inches below the supporting rim, and swaying 
to and fro with every breeze. They lay five or six white eggs, 
curiously scrawled with blackish brown. 

These birds breed east of the Rockies, north to New Brunswick 
and Manitoba, and winter in Central America. 

— Bird Guide. 





Baltimore Oriole. 



Alabama, 1915. 85 

LAST NIGHT 

LAST night the nightingale woke me, 
Last night when all was still ; 
It sang in the golden moonlight, 

From out the woodland hill, 
I opened my window so gently ; 
I looked on the dreaming dew, 
And O; the bird, my darling, was singing, 
Singing of you, of you. 

I think of you in the day time, 

I dream of you by night, 
I wake — and would you were here, love, 

And tears are blinding my sight, 
I hear a low breath in the lime tree, 

The wind is floating through, 
And O ! the night, my darling, 

Is sighing, sighing for you. 

O ! think not I can forget you ; 

I could not though I would, 
I see you in all around me — 

The stream, the night, the wood, 
The flowers that slumber so gently, 

The stars above the blue, 
Heaven itself, my darling, 

Is praying, praying for you! 
— From the Swedish, by Theophile Marzials. 



86 Bird Dav Book 



AFTER THE RAIN 

THE rain has ceased, and in my room 
The sunshine pours an airy flood ; 
And on the church's dizzy vane 
The ancient Cross is bathed in blood. 

From out the dripping ivy-leaves, 
Antiquely carven, gray and high, 
A dormer, facing westward, looks 
Upon the village like an eye. 

And now it glimmers in the sun, 
A square of gold, a disk, a speck : 
And in the belfry sits a Dove 
With purple ripples on her neck. 

— Thomas Bailey Aldrich 



m 



Alabama, 19 15. 87 

MUTUAL AID AMONG WILD ANIMALS 



THE gregarious habit is very generally in animated nature, 
\ especially among mammals and birds. Those animals of a 
solitary kind are decidedly in the minority ; and, owing to 
their compartively unprotected condition, they are con- 
stantly exposed to the attacks of their natural enemies, while the 
associated animals are saved by the wisdom and acuteness of their 
wisest members, and by the strength which results from united 
action. 

A great many hoofed animals, such as antelopes, deer, goats and 
elephants, live in herds ; which are not mere irregular crowds, but 
regular organized bands, with definite conventions, and with a 
power of united resistance which frequently enables them to success- 
fully withstand the attacks of predatory carnivores. Most monkeys, 
as individuals, are comparatively defenseless, and, as a rule, are not 
disposed to come to close quarters with their enemies ; yet, when in 
a body, they are often formidable, and are frequently able to help 
one another out of difficulties. 

Brehm relates how he encountered a troop of baboons which 
were able to defy his dogs and to retreat in good order up the 
heights. A baby baboon being left behind called loudly for help. 
One of the large males courageously returned, went to the young 
one and carried it up the heights in trumph — the dogs being too 
much astonished, apparently, to make any attack. 

A rabbit is generally supposed to be a stupid little animal, yet 
he makes an excellent sentinel in keeping watch while the others 
are feeding. On seeing danger, he kicks the earth in his burrow 
violently, by means of which the whole warren becomes alarmed and 
flees to safety. 

Some of the most successful carnivorous animals, such as wolves, 
hunt in packs ; and many birds of prey, such as eagles, vultures and 
kites act in unison for the purpose of destroying their quarry. Com- 
bination, for the purposes of defense, has its counterpart in combi- 
nation for attack. In each case the united action is usually associated 
with the practice of posting sentinels to warn the rest, or of sending 
out scouts to reconnoiter. 



88 Bird Day Book 



OUR LITTLE MARTYRS 

SHALL we care when nesting time 
Brings no birds from any clime — 
Not a voice or ruby wing, 
Not a single nest to swing, 
Midst the reeds, or higher up 
Like a dainty fairy cup ; 
Not a single little friend, 
All the way as foosteps wend 
Here and there through every clime, 
Not a bird at any time? 

Does it matter? Do we care 
What the feathers women wear 
Cost the world? Must all birds die? 
May they never, never fly 
Safely through their native air? 
Slaughter meets them everywhere. 

Scorned be the hands that touch such spoil- 
Let women pity and recoil 
From traffic barbarous and grave 
And quickly strive the birds to save. 

— George Klingle. 



Alabama, 19 15. 89 

TRIMMING THE CLOTHES-LINE 

Fm happy when the birds come back, 

Fve something then to do; 
If you don't mind a little work 

Perhaps you'd like it, too. 

I get a lot of pretty strings, 

Some red, some white, some blue, 
And on a line out in the yard 

I hang them up in view. 

Sometimes I lay them on the ground, 

And bits of lace, as well ; 
For just what stuff will best suit birds 

Is sometimes hard to tell. 

They know our yard is a good place 

Variety to find ; 
And my ! they're often such a while 

In making up their mind. 

But before night I've sold clean out, 

Im tired as I can be ; 
Yet when the birds chirp back their thanks 

And sing sweet songs to me, 

I'm ready next day to begin 

To trim my line anew, 
In colors like the flag we love — 

The red, the white and blue. 

— By Helen M. Richardson. 



90 Bird Day Book 

DUTY OF THE CITIZEN TOWARD WILD LIFE 

BY WILLIAM T. HORNADAY 

(Dr. Hornaday, the author of "The American Natural History," has 
written this sketch expressly for the Alabama Bird Day Book.) 



WE HOLD that the real men and women of today owe to 
posterity a duty in the preservation of wild life that cannot 
conscientiously be ignored. The wild life of the word is not 
ours, to dispose of wholly as we please. We hold it in trust, 
for the benefit of ourselves, and equal benefits to those who come 
after us. As honorable guardians we have no right to waste and 
squander the heritage of our children and grandchildren. It is our 
duty to stay the hand that strives to apply the torch. 

We received from the hand of Nature a marvelous continent, 
overflowing with an abundance of wild life. But we do not own it 
all ; that it is not all ours to destroy if we choose. Nature was a mil- 
lion years, or more, in developing the picturesque moose, the odd 
mountain goat and the unique antelope. Shall we destroy and exter- 
minate those species in one brief century? The young Americans 
of the year 2015 will read of those wonderful creatures, and if they 
find none of them alive how will they characterize the men of 1915? 
I, for one, do not wish in 2015 to be classed with the swine of Mauri- 
tius that exterminated the dodo. 

The most advanced educators of America are awake to the vital 
necessity of forest conservation. The twenty-one forestry schools 
now in existence in our country have for their foundations the neces- 
sity for forest conservation. Educators and statesmen, and the men 
of means who support good works, all are awake to the vital neces- 
sity of systematic effort in arresting the march of forest destruction 
and providing for the perpetuation of our forest wealth. If by 
neglect of duty we were to allow the vandals to sweep off all timber 
from the United States during the present century, we would be 
regarded as monsters. Fifty years hence, our children would blush 
for their parents. And yet, in effect, through our mistaken princi- 
ples and the dominant influence of the destroyers, we are now, at 
this hour, permitting and witnessing the annihilation of our game- 
birds and game-quadrupeds, everywhere in the United States outside 



Alabama, ipi 5. 91 

of a very few real preserves. If my iteration of this fact is likely to 
be regarded as tiresome, it should be remembered that only the 
quick awakening of this nation, and the quick application of stern 
remedies, can save the patient. 

In the protection of wild life, it seems to me that the average 
citizen does not even begin to realize his own power. I know it, and 
a. great many other men know it, because we have seen the results 
that have been accomplished by the private citizen on the firing-line. 
If the defenders of wild life can succeed in reaching and arousing 
the private citizen, the wild life of our country can even yet be saved 
from the general annihilation that threatens it. The appeal for new 
help must be made to the men and women of America who do not 
go hunting, and who do not kill wild creatures! 

Speaking generally, I think that we have gone with the gunners 
about as far as we can. I fear that they will concede no more than 
they already have conceded, and the new measures they are willing 
to concede I believe are utterly inadequate to the saving of our wild 
life. As a class and a mass, the gunners are unwilling to grant long 
close seasons, of five or ten years, and therefore we must secure 
those long close seasons without their aid ! 

The accomplishment of a great reform nearly always means the 
enactment of new laws in the face of strong opposition. Every 
great reform always treads on a great many toes ; and the owners 
of many of those toes will not only cry out, but many of them will 
fight. A bill to stop the sale of game always arouses the opposition 
of the market-gunners, the game-dealers and the hotel and restau- 
rant interests. The game-dealers are natural fighters, and in fighting 
for their selling privileges they hire lawyers in abundance and spend 
money liberally. As business men, they know how to appeal to the 
business men in any legislature, and their opposition is a very serious 
matter. The way to counteract it is to overwhelm it, in the Legisla- 
ture and before the Governor, with appeals and demands from the 
press and from men and women who have no selfish interests to 
serve and no axes to grind, in behalf of imperilled nature. Men who 
are moved to leave their mirth and their employment, and journey 
to their State capitol to appear at hearings before committees in 
behalf of the wild life of the people at large, always command very 
respectful attention, and in about nineteen cases out of every twenty, 
if the cause of the people is adequately represented, the friends of 
wild life do not appeal in vain. 



92 Bird Day Book 

It is impossible for me to state with sufficient emphasis the neces- 
sity for immediate action and quick results in the saving of wild life. 
The assaults that are being made on the forests of the United States 
are in no way comparable with it. At one swoop the creation of 
vast national forest reserves arrests the hands of the timber de- 
stroyer ; but there are no such corresponding reserved areas for wild 
life. Beside the vast extent of the reserved forests, the national 
parks and game-preserves are lost in utter insignificance. 

Already a great amount of basic educational work for wild life 
has been done. There are few intelligent persons to whom the sub- 
ject is new. The public mind now is so sensitive to impressions 
regarding wild life it is possible to secure, by a few months of effort, 
results that even five years ago were wildly impossible. Our task 
today is not the educating of the masses, but the arousing of the 
conscientious citizen to the point of positive action. 

One determined man who is reasonably intelligent can promote 
and direct a movement that will secure the enactment of a new law, 
provided he is industrious and sufficiently determined. The man 
who starts a movement must make up his mind to follow it up, direct 
its fortunes, stay with it when the storms of criticism and opposi- 
tion beat upon it, and never give up until it is signed by the Governor 
or the President. A leader must be willing to sacrifice his personal 
convenience, the most of his pleasures, and keep at his work when 
his friends are asleep or at the theatre. 

The saving of the wild life and forests of the world is a duty 
that by no means is confined to a small group of persons who work 
for nothing and subsist on their own enthusiasm. The savings of 
the fauna of a nation is a national task. It is literally everybody's 
business. It rests upon the shoulders of the educated and the intelli- 
gent, and the motives that prompt it are not found in the breasts of 
the sordid and the ignorant. The educated people of the United 
States and Canada now are called upon to protect their own from the 
Goths and Vandals of the army of destruction who are strangers to 
the higher sentiments. 



Alabama, 19 15. 



93 



ALPHABETICAL LIST OF THE PRINCIPAL BIRDS 
FOUND IN ALABAMA 



♦&♦- 



Anhinga 

American Bittern 

Least Bittern 

Florida Red-winged Blackbird 

Red-winged Blackbird 

Bluebird 

Bobolink 

Bobwhite 

Indigo Bunting 

Turkey Buzzard 

Cardinal 

Catbird 

Yellow-breasted Chat 

Chewink 

Carolina Chickadee 

Chuck-wnTs-Widow 

American Coot 

Florida Cormorant 

Cowbird 

Sand-hill Crane 

American Crow 

Brown Creeper 

Fish Crow 

Black-billed Cuckoo 

Yellow-billed Cuckoo 

Hudsonian Curlew 

Ground Dove 

Mourning Dove 

Dowitcher 

Long-billed Dowitcher 

Baldpate Duck 

Black Duck 

Buffle-head Duck 

Canvasback Duck 

Gadwall 



Mallard Duck 
American Merganser 
Hooded Merganser 
Pintail Duck 
Redhead Duck 
Ring-necked Duck 
Scaup Duck 
Lesser Scaup Duck 
Shoveller Duck 
Blue-winged Teal Duck 
Green-winged Teal Duck 
Wood Duck 
Bald Eagle 
American Gold-finch 
Purple Finch 
Flicker 

Northern Flicker 
Acadian Flycatcher 
Alder Flycatcher 
Crested Flycatcher 
Least Flycatcher 
Olive-sided Flycatcher 
Wood Pewee 
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 
Florida Gallinule 
Purple Gallinule 
Marbled Godwit 
Canada Goose 
Snow Goose 
Boat-tailed Grackle 
Bronzed Grackle 
Purple Grackle 
Rusty Grackle 
Horned Grebe 
Pied-billed Grebe 



94 



Bird Day Book 



Blue Grosbeak 

American Herring Gull 

Bonaparte Gull 

Laughing Gull 

Ring-billed Gull 

Broad-winged Hawk 

Cooper Hawk 

Duck Hawk 

Fish Hawk 

Florida Red-shouldered Hawk 

Marsh Hawk 

Pigeon Hawk 

Red-tailed Hawk 

Red-shouldered Hawk 

Sharp-shinned Hawk 

Sparrow Hawk 

Great Blue Heron 

Little Blue Heron 

Green Heron 

Louisiana Heron 

Black-crowned Night Heron 

Yellow-crowned Night Heron 

Ward Heron 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 

Wood Ibis 

Blue Jay 

Kingbird 

Belted Kingfisher 

Golden-crowned Kinglet 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 

Mississippi Kite 

Swallow-tailed Kite 

Loon 

Purple Martin 

Meadowlark 

Florida Meadowlark 

Mockingbird 

Florida Nighthawk 

Brown-headed Nuthatch 

Red-breasted Nuthatch 



White-breasted Nuthatch 
Baltimore Oriole 
Orchard Oriole 
Oven Bird 
Barn Owl 
Barred Owl 
Florida Barred Owl 
Great Horned Owl 
Long-eared Owl 
Screech Owl 
Short-eared Owl 
White Pelican 
American Pipit 
Black-bellied Plover 
Kildeer 
Piping Plover 
Semi-palmated Plover 
Upland Plover 
Wilson Plover 
King Rail 

Louisiana Clapper Rail 
Sora Rail 
Virginia Rail 
Redpoll 

American Redstart 
American Robin 
Southern Robin 
Sanderling 
Least Sandpiper 
Pectoral Sandpiper 
Semi-palmated Sandpiper 
Solitary Sandpiper 
Spotted Sandpiper 
White-rumped Sandpiper 
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 
Sooty Shearwater 
Loggerhead Shrike 
Migrant Shrike 
Pine Siskin 
Black Skimmer 



Alabama, ip 15. 



95 



Wilson Snipe 
Bachman Sparrow 
Chipping Sparrow 
English Sparrow 
Field Sparrow 
Fisher Seaside Sparrow 
Fox Sparrow 
Grasshopper Sparrow 
Henslow Sparrow 
Lark Sparrow 
Leconte Sparrow 
Nelson Sparrow 
Savanna Sparrow 
Song Sparrow 
Swamp Sparrow 
Vesper Sparrow 
White-throated Sparrow 
Bank Swallow 
Barn Swallow 
Cliff Swallow 
Rough-winged Swallow 
Tree Swallow 
Chimney Swift 
Scarlet Tanager 
Summer Tanager 
Black Tern 
Cabot Tern 
Caspian Tern 
Common Tern 
Gull-billed Tern 
Least Tern 
Royal Tern 
Brown Thrasher 
Bicknell Thrush 
Gray-checked Thrush 
Hermit Thrush 
Louisiana Water Thrush 
Olive-backed Thrush 
Water Thrush 
Wilson Thrush 



Wood Thrush 
Tufted Titmouse 
Wild Turkey 
Ruddy Turnstone 
Bay-breasted Warbler 
Blackburnian Warbler 
Black and White Warbler 
Black-poll Warbler 
Black-throated Warbler 
Black-throated Green Warbler 
Blue-winged Warbler 
Cairns Warbler 
Canadian Warbler 
Cerulean Warbler 
Chestnut-sided Warbler 
Golden-winged Warbler 
Hooded Warbler 
Kentucky Warbler 
Magnolia Warbler 
Mourning Warbler 
Myrtle Warbler 
Orange-crowned Warbler 
Palm Warbler 
Parula Warbler 
Pine Warbler 
Prairie Warbler 
Prothonotary Warbler 
Swainson Warbler 
Sycamore Warbler 
Tennessee Warbler 
Worm-eating Warbler 
Yellow Warbler 
Yellow-palm Warbler 
Yellow-throated Warbler 
Cedar Waxwing 
Western Willet 
Whip-Poor-Will 
American Woodcock 
Downy Woodpecker 
Pileated Woodpecker 



96 



Bird Day Book 



Red-bellied Woodpecker 
Red-cockaded Woodpecker 
Red-headed Woodpecker 
Southern Hairy Woodpecker 
Bewick Wren 
Carolina Wren 
House Wren 
Louisiana Marsh Wren 
Short-billed Marsh Wren 
Winter Wren 
White-eyed Vireo 



Red-eyed Vireo 
Warbling Vireo 
White-tyed Vireo 
Yellow-throated Vireo 
Black Vulture 
Greater Yellowlegs 
Yellowlegs 

Florida Yellow-throat 
Maryland Yellow-throat 
Northern Yellow-throat 



Date Due 





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